• shelisloterbeek

The Sweetness of Adversity


Grapefruit - some might consider it the black sheep of the citrus world. Growing up I wanted to like it, it smelled so lovely, but the taste was so bitter that I couldn't eat more than a few bites. Little did I realize that grapefruits shipped to Pennsylvania were VERY different than the grapefruit of the tree in my backyard currently. Still slightly outcast as no one in this house will eat them but me, I love to watch the changing of the grapefruit tree. It teaches me so much (here's another one I wrote about it).


But this past year was a trying time for the tree. With less than half of the rain we normally receive she struggled to keep up with the fruit growing on her limbs. Her dark green waxy leaves began to curl on the edges. We do water the grass by the tree of course, but there's just something different that comes with water from the sky. Even a section of the tree died entirely. But she persisted.

And now it's time to bring the grapefruit down. So I picked one of the larger fruits and one of the smaller fruits off the tree. I tried the larger fruit first - it tasted like our grapefruit always do - sweet and tangy, just the slightest bit bitter. Then I cut open the smaller fruit, it felt more tender, the peel darker than that of it's larger counterpart. I cut it open and it was just as pink and juicy as the large grapefruit. And then I took a bite. It was sweeter and even less bitter than the first.


The struggle may have been greater for the tree this season, but her fruit is sweeter. She has come through adversity with fruit that may look different, but no less special than the fruit she usually produces. And maybe that's just how it was with 2020 with you and me. Maybe the adversity of the year was great for you, but the fruit of it is sweeter than what may have been given in any other year.


And now I'm off to pick the fruit - to make way for new blossoms.



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