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Life Lessons from a Grapefruit

The Battered Grape fruit Tree.

On a farm, life lessons appear if you look and listen.

Today I took some time to tour my citrus trees.  I made an interesting discovery that got me thinking about perseverance and healing.

About 3 years ago I planted this young grapefruit tree.  As the seasons passed, despite my doting, watering and care, this tree struggled to survive.  I naively planted the tree in the wrong season immediately before an unbelievably dry hot summer.

The tree struggled.  It spontaneously lost leaves 2-3 times from heat stress and illness.  Grass-hoppers sensing weakness (FYI weak trees literally give off secretions that are sweet when ill) pounced on the tree year after year.  Somewhere in the third year ants entered the root system and weakened the tree yet again.

Desperate to save my $12 investment on this Box Store citrus prodigy I treated with orange oil, watered vigorously and fertilized the tree.

Time passed…leaves grew back.   Tiny new branches formed, more new leaves.

Early today, I discovered a single, large, beautiful Grapefruit ripening underneath the tree canopy.


Life Lesson

Life isn’t always fair.  Some of us are born with physical disadvantage, premature or saddled with illness and disease. Meek, unsteady, weakened many struggle through life more or less surviving but not thriving.

Outliers, wannabes, bench-warmers, last-picked, sometimes the early setbacks set us on a tough road through life.  Many times instead of progress, every effort in life focuses on maintenance and breaking even.  If not careful, disappointment and negativity can dominate our mindset.

This undersized Grapefruit tree however reminds me of Notre Dame’s “Rudy,”determined, dogged, disadvantaged–down but NOT OUT.  Weathering adversity builds character and strength.   The experience, albeit painful can lead to greater breakthroughs, higher levels of success and a toughness that doesn’t fail during future setbacks.

We’ve all been the unfortunate grapefruit at one time or other.  We can learn from this little tree, now learning to produce, strengthen and fulfill its destiny.

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