Dear Solel Family,
I hope your secular New Year is off to a great start. I know many of us were all too happy
to see the end of 2020. Not that there is
anything magical about the beginning of a new year… it’s an arbitrary division of time… just like a birthday or an anniversary. We mark it not so much because it has meaning in and of itself, but because it’s a measuring stick for us. It’s a way for us to see how much we’ve grown and what we’ve accomplished in the year before.
At this time of year, we celebrate the holiday of Tu BiShvat. On this holiday, all of the trees on Earth get one year older… one more ring in the trunk. It reminds me of a story of growth that I have heard from several different sources. It is the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. Perhaps you have heard it as well. It is a story faith, hope and patience.
When a bamboo tree is planted, it does nothing for the first year. If watered and cared for, it does nothing for the second year as well. Also, for the third and fourth years…. nothing. No sprouts, no growth, no visible evidence that anything is happening beneath. Finally, in the fifth year, amazing growth takes place. It is said that a bamboo tree can grow 80 feet in 6 weeks! Amazing, right? Clearly, the growth did not take place only during the final year. It was happening all along, only we could not see and observe it.
The lesson from this tree is one of perseverance. We can apply this lesson to our own lives as well. If there is a project we have been working diligently on for years that has not yet shown promise, it may just be that we have to continue to believe in it and in ourselves a little bit longer before it finally takes off. There may be growth and development that is happening in the project and in ourselves that may be difficult to perceive.
My hope for us during this challenging and frustrating time in our lives is that we recognize the seeds of growth that have been planted in us and in our community. May we see the fruits of our efforts in the not-too-distant future. Until then, be patient. Have faith. It’s coming…