Saturday afternoon, and the sun is beating down on my kids, their friends, and me as we walk through the tall stalks of a corn maze. We shed sweatshirts and wish for shorts instead of jeans on this 70 plus degree October day.
We emerge from the maze into the orchard, where row after row of apple trees extends as far as we can see. Lots of fruit has fallen to the ground. More remarkable than the fruit on the ground is the sheer abundance of the fruit on the trees. You’d think that the weight of all the apples would topple the trees, but not a single branch droops.
In my heart, I hear a whisper: I want my life to be as productive as that tree, this orchard.
How can I ensure that my life is productive? What daily steps do I need to take to create value so that my productivity is like a heavy laden tree, a carefully cultivated orchard? How can I ensure that my life, my daily work and effort, results in an abundance of fruit?
In those quiet moments, the vision of a productive life is so clear and bright, but it’s easy to let the overwhelm of each day’s demands obscure my clarity of vision. Each day has a thousand demands, sometimes mundane and seemingly endless. Laundry. Meal prep. Grocery shopping. Emails overflowing in my inbox. A full schedule, with little breathing room. My daughters’ voices ping-ponging: “Mom. Mom. Mom.” Someone needing something, in every moment, from waking to sleep.
You’ve been there, haven’t you? The point at which making a difference is too much and you just want to make it through the day. The point at which your best-envisioned plans seem too hard to pursue and you consider an easier route. Those moments when you’re just DONE, meaning done in, done for, but not at all complete.
Is there a way to respond to daily life demands that will fuel the productive life I want to live? Is it the grace to show up fully in every moment, with my kids or with my business? Is that how my most meaningful contributions can occur? Is there a way to taste the sweetness of each moment, each day?
A fruitful life, my deepest desire, to be like a tree heavy-laden with fruit, or a tree amongst many others in an orchard at harvest time. This is the vision that carries me through those overwhelming moments. May the whisper become a song; this tree, this orchard, may my life be fruitful.