It's not the most common of the sayings; but at this time of the year it seems pretty appropriate.
A conker is the seed which holds all the ingredients and potential for a huge, beautiful tree.
In its infancy it is shielded from all the dangers of the world; from the heat of the sun or the damaging winds, from insects and birds who would attack it too early, from people who might pick it before its ready. This protective shield is hard and camouflaged in the branches and covered in sharp prickles.
The conker is protected until just the right time; and then the shell opens and the seed of life is released to do its job.
Of course any that get cooked or glued or burned will not fulfil that potential, but others will. They will become a new tree.
What do you see when you pick up a conker? Do you see the shiny surface? Or the potential for life? I do, I just love them; and so does Rachel.
It seems to me that many of us are like those conkers. We hide our potential and life giving love inside a protective shell of prickles and fear. We only open up when we know time is precisely right. And that's sensible most of the time; but sometimes we need to open up a little and show our beautiful, soft inner selves.
And when judging others; well perhaps it's worth bearing in mind that they might be hiding beneath their prickles; don't judge them for that.