Lessons from the Apple Tree: Embracing the Natural Shedding Process in Our Journeys

apple tree reflections awakening reflection (blog post) Oct 14, 2023
May Blossoms: A flourishing apple tree in full bloom with delicate pink and white blossoms. October Harvest: A laden apple tree, bearing a bumper crop of ripe, red apples in the autumn sun.

Dr Shuna Marr

Here are two photos of my apple tree that I wrote about last month.

On the left, back in May, when the blossom was in full flower, and on the right in October when the bumper crop of fruit is weighing down the boughs. 

I was thinking of this as an analogy for our own journeys.

Spring's Promise: Blossoms in Full Flower

Back in Spring, there were lots and lots of buds on the tree, and while there are loads of fruits, it's obvious that not every flower became an apple.

The June Drop: Shedding the Unnecessary

Some flowers were not pollinated, some of the tiny proto-apples fell off in the 'June drop', when the tree naturally sheds its fruitlets.

Some I picked too, before they were large, to lighten the load of the branches.

But this shedding process means that the ones that survived were the strongest and grew the largest because the others fell away.

Focus and Fruitfulness: Nurturing What Matters Most

And this is so often like our journey. We have so many ideas and desires and intentions - but not all of them come to fruition.

The less viable ones fall away, remain undeveloped, left to wither.

It is only the ones that we focus on, that we put our energy into and which we nurture that come to fruition.

Letting Go of 'Should-Have-Beens'

Yet we often beat ourselves up about not doing 'enough' or that we 'should have' seen something through. I know that I have done that - feeling somehow I've been inconsistent or judging myself for lack of effort and not making plans happen.

However, I've come to recognise that, if it fell away and didn't happen, it was part of the natural shedding process.

Nature's Lesson: The Perfect Crop of Life

Rather than trying to spread ourselves too thin and making lots of mediocre fruit, if we only focus on that which is most important to us...

and allowed only the best and strongest ones to survive (or in our case, the tasks and plans that light us up)

... then we would be following nature's example and producing the perfect crop (and life) for us.


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