There’s an old pear orchard a couple streets over from our house. It’s over-grown and run down, and obviously has been neglected for years. To be honest, it’s a little creepy-looking and I wouldn’t walk through it, even during the day. The trees look like they should be in a Halloween movie, and each summer a row of untrimmed branches hang out over the street, trying to grasp a crop of badly misshapen fruit. On the edge of the property there’s a random rusty shipping container, that sits ominously out of place. If I let my imagination go wild – I can come up with all kinds of scenarios as to why it’s there – and what might be inside.

In spite of all that, I’m a little obsessed with this run-down forgotten piece of land.

I even have a secret dream. (Well, I’ve told my family but they just give me the “ok, here she goes again” look and go on with their lives as normal.)

I’d love to buy that old pear orchard. Whip it into shape (I mean, how hard could that be?), and build a rustic looking barn. Transform new beautiful barn into event/community gathering space. Become Beamsville’s newest organic pear farmer/event planner. See people come from miles to buy pears from pretty roadside stands, visit the little pear shop, hang out in the barn and have the most wonderful day of their lives.

Easy, right?

(Maybe this is why no-one listens to me?)

Truth be told, there’s another reason that I’m drawn to the old pear orchard. It reminds me of what can happen when life gets a little out of control.  If we don’t take care of what we’ve been given.

Everything in that orchard is dead or dying. It’s definitely not flourishing. The fruit is sparse and the weeds are grown up so high you can’t even walk between the trees. What was meant to grow and produce, is slowly withering away because no one has taken the time to care for it. Things have been left stagnant, and nothing can flourish in the current environment.

The only thing that could bring back life, is hard work and change.

A pruning.

The whole orchard needs to be cut back.

All the dead and dying branches need to be taken off, so that new life can grow. 

It’s a little reminder about life, and potential. And what can be, when we take the time to work on things that matter in our lives – and remove what prevents growth. A couple blocks away from the dying orchard, there are thriving orchards and vineyards that grow some of the best fruit in our country. What makes those trees and vines so special?

Work.

Purpose.

Plans.

Then, I think about people.

I think about all of us right now, in hard days that are quiet and odd with a future that feels muddled and confused. In the middle of all the crazy, I keep thinking about growing trees. Flourishing life. Surplus Crops.

More than enough. 

It’s so easy for the weeds to come, and take over. It’s harder to take care of ourselves and dream, and move forward in difficult seasons. It feels exhausting to work on removing what might be preventing personal growth, when uncertainty lingers over our heads.

But, try.

Start small.

Don’t give up.

Keep working on growth in your life.

It’s not about pressure or performing, it’s about purpose.

Purpose is present, no matter the season.

No matter the pain.

Every day I drive by the forgotten pear orchard, and I think the same thing every time.

A little bit of care, and that old orchard could come back to life.

And we can too.

We can bear fruit.

We can dream.

We can find purpose in anything, even in the pears.