Today is Tu b’Shevat, the 15thday of the Jewish month of Shevat. It is the Birthday of Trees.
Yes, I know, Spring has not yet officially arrived. In some parts of the world, snow and ice remain, or will return. But in Israel, the sap is likely flowing—or will be quite soon.
In ancient times, Tu biShevat was a way of marking the age of a tree in order to harvest fruit appropriately. You might even say that Tu b’Shevat ensured care for trees just as trees provide sustenance for humans.
**Our Jewish ancestors teach us so much, don’t they?
And so do trees themselves :
When the wind rustles the sapling’s leaves,
Does it doubt its own strength?
And after winter has immobilized its life-force,
Does it question its existence?
Flexibility is a gift,
Whether of mind or body;
The ability to grow, to change,
Resilience to endure
As the pear tree
Which remembers its blooming
In the midst of frost.