Tu B'Shevat -- the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat -- is known as the "New
Year for Trees." Naturally this would be a time for trees to engage in
soul-searching -- the same way people do on Rosh Hashanah. Here is a tree's
New Year Checklist:
● Did I shelter the seedlings that live in my shade
-- so they will grow up to be a next generation like myself?
● Did I grow towards the sun as a tree should,
reaching up higher and higher towards that which I can never grasp, but which
nurtures me all the same the more I strive towards it?
● Did I make sure my roots remain firmly planted in the soil that nurtures them, and did I drop my leaves there in the fall to give back life
to that which sustains me?
● Did I ensure that my fruits were sweet and nourished all that came to enjoy them? Did everyone walk away from me with a smile?
● Did I bend gently in the wind, accepting what G‑d sends but never breaking or giving up hope?
● Did I grow in strength and wisdom with each new ring this year?
Come to think of it, not a bad checklist for us humans either!