When You Don’t Have Your “Chilling Requirement”

This morning, I called down to my husband that we lost winter. We just skipped right into 60 degree weather. As Pennsylvania residents who love the cold, this comes as sad news.

And I remember how, on this very month 8 years ago, I learned about how trees in our state have a “chilling requirement.” I wrote this:

Many folks plant peach trees in Pennsylvania because peach trees, like other fruit trees, have a chilling requirement.  Some peaches require over 1000 hours of below 40 degree days in order to go into the dormancy that allows a new season of peaches.  Without those 1000 hours of rest, the peach tree simply won’t bear fruit. Here, a peach tree gets those crucial chilling hours.So if it’s bearing great fruit, it means that tree had the right amount of restI have my own chilling requirement.  For days, months, sometimes years, I go dormant to prepare for the next year’s fruit.  We have to see rest that way.  It’s preparation.  It’s a requirement. 

As I think about what’s going to happen to our crops this year without these necessary hours of dormancy, I remember that when external forces don’t facilitate this, we must manufacture it. We must insist. We must create the conditions for rest when the environment around us no longer allows it. I’m not sure how this works for farming, but for the metaphor of personal growth, I know we can think about rest in our lives. Our fruitfulness depends upon it. For our spiritual chilling requirement, I think of prayer, of silence, and of waiting on the Lord.

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