If you have spent any time in Arizona, more specifically after a brutally hot August just before the temperature begins to drop in late October, you have probably experienced an intoxicating scent. While the frequency of encountering this scent is dwindling due to the rise of urbanization, if you drive slowly by the few remaining citrus groves, just after sunset and as temperatures cool down, in a single breath you can feel renewed.
Lemon trees are unique. They are a type of evergreen tree native to Asia and produce fruit all year round. Their leaves are a brilliant green and a little rubbery. Their branches are thorny and their fruit is sour. Lemons contain citric acid and are a good source of vitamin C. Throughout history, lemons have been used to cure disease, to flavor food and drinks, and to produce cleaning agents. While lemons can now be seen as a type of "miracle" fruit offering opportunities for a variety of uses, their value once required someone to see past the sour taste and thorns.
Each year brings its own challenges and possibilities. As 2015 draws to a close and as we shift our focus to 2016, we do so with anticipation and the hope of more possibilities than challenges. However, in hoping to avoid challenges, do we miss the opportunities life offers through the lemons we are given?
Opportunities are not always disguised as beautifully wrapped packages in crisp paper, delicately tied ribbons, and gift tags bearing our names. Sometimes opportunities are disguised as lemons, nestled high in a thorny tree waiting to test our determination and persistence. Some of us will avoid the hard work it takes to turn an opportunity into something that is sweet and palatable, but if we can see past the sour taste and look for the possibilities, the rewards can be worth the cuts and scrapes.
Life may not turn out the way we planned, but it can turn out better than we could have ever dreamed. The lemon in its natural state is limited in its value. It is not until someone comes along with a little patience and ingenuity that its value is increased. In 2016, look for the lemons to sweeten the possibilities and see past the thorns to embrace the opportunities ahead. You may not be able to change the whole world, but we all have the chance to change the world around us.
“Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.”
~ Hugh Miller
EduCred Services wishes you, your family, and friends a Happy New Year filled with lemons!