“It’s an APPLE!”

When was the last time you hungered for an apple. Not a supermarket apple that comes in a bag with a dozen or so other apples of the same color and shape, with a sticker applied to each, but a real apple, one that lingers on the tree until just the perfect moment of ripeness to be picked at peak of harvest. An apple that is crisp, tart, juicy and the skin fairly snaps with each crisp bite, an apple that almost drips with flavor as you bite it.

That kind of apple.

Reaching for a bag of apples at the market yesterday, I thought about apples.

In years past we waited for apple harvest. Those were the years when we waited for strawberries to ripen in the field, and the perfect blush to appear on the peaches before we picked them. Waiting for the fruit was part of the joy. To have an apple for school lunch completed the menu, because the fall was when they were best. By January they were wrinkled and acceptable only for applesauce or baking.

As a school child I remember removing my lunch from the brown bag I carried from home. I would lay out the peanut butter sandwich first, then the two cookies, then the red apple, a small –school size-Macintosh apple, often more green on one side and red on the other. My apple was always different from those of the other children, because my Mother held that apple in her hand and polished it with the skirt of her apron, sometimes checking it, then continuing to polish it until she was satisfied it had the proper glow. Her effort paid off because my apple always glistened. Now I wonder what she was thinking about as she polished that apple, did she think about her day ahead with the children at school or our day away from home?

Apples are now available all year. It is wonderful to enjoy fruit in and out of season, but I wonder if the taste isn’t different and if the satisfaction wanes when there is no waiting for the harvest.

I encourage you to take a drive to an orchard this fall, maybe ask if you can pick an apple, one at the perfect stage of ripeness, just for you to eat, because when you bite into that apple, kissed by the proper amount of sunshine, you will understand,

“It’s about more than the apple.”

May your day land “Jelly Side-Up”