There was a man who had four sons. He sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in winter, the second in the spring, the third insummer, and the youngest son in the fall.When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son described the tree as ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The father explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life.
He told them you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.