My husband and I were recently discussing some good and bad things in life and how we can use an apple tree as a beautiful analogy. I would love to share with you the life skills that we contemplated.
A little over a year ago, my family started to consider the idea of purchasing an apple tree. Prior to moving to Tennessee, we owned a small plot of land in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t enough for a large orchard (I believe our family consumes enough apples in a given year to justify owning an orchard), but it would certainly be sufficient for a single apple tree. We began the research and came to find that the process of planting an apple tree was much more complicated and involved than we had originally thought.
Did you know that most apple varieties do not pollinate themselves or any of the same apple variety? This requires planting at least two different apple tree varieties close to one another.
I find two great lessons from this fact about trees. The first is our need for relationships. I certainly see importance in being self-sufficient and appreciating your self-worth. However, I believe that we are not meant to be alone. Although at times we need our “alone time,” I feel that overall we can learn and grow so much more efficiently and effectively when involving ourselves in healthy relationships. Although there are actually some self-pollinating apple tree varieties, even these apple trees will bear more fruit if cross-pollinated with other trees. However, I feel we gain so much more in life as a whole when being able to have a bond with at least one other person, whether it be a friend or spouse or both!
The second lesson is that we are able to grow more abundantly when we’re surrounded by not only those like us, but those that are different from us. I feel that those that are different from us have the ability to “fill in the cracks” created by our deficiencies and vice-versa. Recall that apple trees produce best when planted near a tree of a different variety. This allows for cross-pollination to occur. If the trees are too similar, they will either produce a very limited crop, or no crop at all! My husband and I discussed how we believe that being two completely different “varieties” has personally helped us to build a stronger bond within ourselves and in our relationship together. Although we have “butted heads” a few times, our differences have created learning experiences that we had to work through together in order to find common ground.
Did you ever realize how much can be learned from an apple tree? Please keep checking our blog for more posts about our Apple Tree of Life!