'Tis the season

Well, another Minnesota season has reared its ugly head and come in like gangbusters. So here we are, back in the deep freeze, surrounded by a white landscape. There's no doubt about it—winter has arrived.

 I'm a lifelong Minnesotan, and despite the challenges that each of our seasons can bring, it's what I love most about living here. That's because each season also brings its gifts.


Here's a story to illustrate that.


A man with four sons wanted them to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent each to look at a pear tree far away. Each visited the tree in a different season.


When they all finished, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son, who went in the winter, said, "The tree was ugly, bent, and twisted."


The son, who saw the tree in the spring, said, "No, it was covered with green buds and full of promise."


The third son, who visited the tree in summer, said, "It was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful; it was the most graceful thing I've ever seen.


The last son, who saw the tree in fall, disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.


The man then explained to his sons that they were all right because they had seen only one season in the tree's life. However, he told them neither a tree nor a person can be judged by only one season. When it comes to yourselves, he told them, the essence of who you are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from your lives can only be measured at the end, when all seasons are up.


If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfillment of your autumn. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches, and better times are sure to come.


In the seasons of your life, you will find that happiness keeps you sweet, trials keep you strong, sorrows keep you human, and failures keep you humble.



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