The ancient world near the Mediterranean boasts of olive trees that are centuries old (a few that are even carbon dated to be over a thousand years old). These trees live in groves that are obviously cared for, protected and treasured. Olympic game victors were even crowned in olive leaves because of their precious nature; they were the symbol of wisdom.

Interestingly though, olive groves thrive in the rocky soil of craggy areas that undergo drought, disease and fire too. The groves can remain productive for centuries if pruned and cared for. When the tree is damaged, it will produce new shoots from the roots and the dead can be removed and a new tree is now formed.

We can draw parallels between an Olive Orchard, as previously described, and a thriving individual, family, business, or organization built on authenticity and intentionality. We as people do life inside a family/business/organization (our grove) and that is where we can be found either thriving or surviving. The foundation we build and the attention we pay to pruning and care (think teaching, decision making, committment, etc) will be seen centuries later in the olives we produce (the fruit of our life/business/organization).

Important to this metaphor is the realization that long lasting productive groves do not require perfection, just as our lives or organziations will never be perfect or lived inside a bubble. The struggle exists (the disease, fire and rocky soil of the grove) and will ultimately build more of exactly what we long for; integrity, resilience, and perseverance. This is the Olive Orchard way.