A few mornings ago, I wandered into a small apple orchard that was just beginning to bloom. It had been raining all night and the sun was starting to come out here and there, a most magical combination. Everything was washed clean and enlivened by the rain. The green grass beneath my feet vibrated, lit up and awake, and the air hummed with the cracked-open, wild potentiality that is spring. Plus, there were a fair amount of pollinating bees flying about, a happy and good thing to see.
The apple blossoms of early spring are in themselves beautiful and should be appreciated on their own, just as they are in this moment. But as I stood on tippy-toe and got up close, almost inside, one of the blossoms, I also saw the entire year to come: from blossom to fruit to harvest to fallow.
I saw the rain and the bees and the human hands tending. The little green apples beginning, growing, turning red, being plucked from the branch. And then I saw apple pie, apple sauce, chutneys and apple cider (both sweet and hard.) Tart Tartin, pork chops with potatoes and apples, apple cake with apple cider frosting. The satisfying snap of biting into the crisp, cool fruit, the tart and sweet taste of it on my tongue. And then the time to be quiet and withdrawn, storing energy deep within, resting.
How amazing, that these trees could grow apple pies, or at least dreams of apple pies! I know it's spring and time to focus on asparagus and artichokes and pea tendrils, and lambs and morels and green garlic. But for a few seconds in that apple orchard, I saw the power of potentiality, the ancient gamble that we rely upon with our whole lives: that the blossoms of today will bear the fruits of tomorrow.
Once home, I reach deep into the back of my cupboard and find the last jar of applesauce, canned up in the fall. The lid breaks its seal with that marvelous thwap/hiss sound. I pour a few spoonfuls the applesauce into a pretty bowl and stand eating by my window, watching the just returned hummingbirds searching for nectar in the bright, newly born blossoms of spring.
(Image: Dana Velden)