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     At first glance the mature olive tree has no noticeable beauty or essence that you would take notice of.  Unlike some trees, such as the crape myrtle, which sparkles at once with beauty and colors, the olive tree requires a more discerning eye.  But if you take your time and examine the olive tree more closely, a deeper appreciation of its beauty will take place.  You will see its stunning green and silver leaves almost glowing, and its powerful branches reaching out, as though reaching for something or someone.  And if you search even deeper, you will realize that the olive tree has a special strength.  A strength not born of its own characteristics, but a strength that originates from a secret source.  It is as though it is rooted in a magical soil that has empowered it with extraordinary life.

 

     But as with most life, growth in the beginning is never easy.  There are many obstacles that try to hinder or destroy its existence.  Pests and diseases strike early and often, while the olive tree battles for its own necessities.  The right climate and right amount of sun are vital, as are the right amount of water and fertilizer.  And let’s not forget perhaps the most important necessity…pruning.

 

     There are and will be many circumstances that will go wrong in its development but the olive tree is resilient, and stays steadfast in the midst of difficulty.  The biggest problem the olive tree faces though is not with the environment, or outside dangers, but with itself.  It is a stubborn tree that sometimes battles against the wisest and gentlest of care.  But after a struggle for transformation the olive tree finally surrenders.  It is not a surrender of giving up, but rather a surrender of allowing the natural flow of life to spring forth.  The result is the stunning array of a beautiful harvest of fruit.