In his book Days of Power, Rav Berg wrote, “There’s more power in the seed than there is in the entire tree. But the power of the seed is potential, while that of the tree is [already] manifested.”
How could there be more power in a seed than a fully grown Oak Tree?! The seed is small, almost weightless. It doesn’t bear fruit or have branches—it may as well be a grain of sand on the beach covered in millions of tiny specks that are exactly the same. Yet, once planted, it has all the power to become.
However, the tree itself is already grown. Maybe it isn’t an oak but an olive tree. While it has beautifully manifested itself to grow delicious olives, it can never be an oak tree. Or a peach tree. Or an apple tree. Does this cause it to wilt and stop growing? No. It will continue to produce olives for as long as it lives—which could be more than one thousand years!
Today marks the fifteenth of the month of Aquarius, the day known as Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees. It is the 24-hour window in time in which the trees receive their energy for the entire year—whether they will grow and whether fruits will grow from them. The Supernal Gates open to shower the Plant Kingdom with spiritual nourishment but also to give us an opportunity to embody the supernatural power of the trees…
We each contain both the seed and the tree. We may believe that, like the seed, we are small and insignificant, but this is never the case. We contain an infinite wellspring of potential which we can manifest in all sorts of ways! Like the tree, we might believe ourselves to be fully manifested as just one thing, but this is also untrue. We are all–and always–works in progress!
In fact, much of the potential we once held is still there.
That supernatural power that we can embody today is a plant’s ability to sprout and flourish against gravity. Trees defy the force of gravity in miraculous ways—growing taller than 300 feet!— and can inspire us to do the same. Our nature can be represented by the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, which is, interestingly, where most of our negative beliefs and thoughts come from. As we grow against or in spite of this impulse, we should strive to build a Desire to Receive in Order to Share. When we do, we become like the Creator, who is all sharing, good, and completely infinite. The more we emulate the Creator, the further we rise above those negativities—self-doubt, fear, worry, or lack—that hold us back from our potential.
Fruit trees are some of the most powerful sharers in existence. From a young age, trees that bear fruit are routinely pruned as a way of building their resilience. As they continue to produce their fruit, the fruit itself becomes more resilient and more abundant. But it isn’t just the growing of the fruit that supports the tree. It’s the giving of the fruit. The more a tree produces, the more it must be pruned to keep it healthy. It, quite literally, has to share in order to continue growing. And when its fruits are grown consistently and harvested generously, these trees can live up to 200 years and more. As we’ve already seen, olive trees can surpass a thousand! They also give to whomever needs, they do not pick and choose who receives their fruit—it makes no difference to them!
It serves as a perfect metaphor. Growing and achieving with an intention to consistently give is our pathway to health and fulfillment. We do not exist to hoard our fruits or to stop growing. The purpose of each of our lives is to grow as the trees grow—continuously and generously, giving at every opportunity. It is not our job to discern who is worthy of our kindness. It is simply our job to give and to share. Simple, yes. Easy? Not always. But the journey to becoming beings of sharing is what matters. As I often say, the process is the purpose.
As we continue to evolve and grow, we become worthy of some of life’s most beautiful blessings. Just like the trees that grow against their nature, producing sweet fruits and tall branches, as we grow, we also draw down joyful manifestations. Being that Tu b’Shevat falls on the 15th of Aquarius, it sits directly opposite of the 15th of the month of Leo on the zodiacal wheel. Why do I tell you that? Because the fifteenth of the month of Leo, known as Tu B’Av, is one of the most positive and joyous days of the whole year. It is the day of soulmates, marriages, celebrations, and gaiety—the sweetest of gifts that we draw down as we grow into the person we are meant to be.
The promise of the growth we experience by committing to going against our nature is a promise of fulfillment, joy, and abundance. As you observe this verdant day, meditate on how and where you are most yearning to grow. Where is your potential calling you? What is holding you back? Whatever it may be, know that it’s giving you a potent opportunity to flourish, maybe in ways you never thought possible.