Food, Musings, Oregon

Apple Season

October 30, 2016

“Love is a fruit in season at all times and within the reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, prayer, sacrifice and an intense inner life.”
– Mother Teresa

Apple season’s just fading to memory again as the deeper darker rhythms of Oregon autumn carry us toward November. Can it really be that time of year to swap fresh fruits for root veggies? To grab a jar of preserves instead of a fistful of berries?

Here in our home, we’ve been living on applesauce and apple butter. (That is, when we’re not chugging lemon ginger tea and garlic and honey, trying to fight off tenacious chest colds.)

Marion, eight months old, scarfs down bowl after bowl, banging her spoon joyously on the high chair tray, grinning wide with fruit smeared into her eyelashes.

Lucie, three, is on a limited diet due to allergies, and somehow me offering her as much apple butter as she’d like on her gluten free toast seems a reasonable offering to make up for the lack of wheat and dairy products in her life.

(Sigh. What goes better together than apples and cheese, I ask?)

What are those wise words about “a season for everything”?

For the past three autumns, I’ve gathered stories of apples. Each time, thinking I’ll share the posts.

I write the accounts in my mind, let them simmer a while…but the next thing I know, they’re entirely out of sync with winter snowflakes or spring flowers or summer sunshine, and so they sit, untapped, untyped.

I’ve been wrestling with seasons all my life: wishing so often for the future or the past, scared to make peace with the present for fear of losing the momentum of idealism. It’s a twisted trap.

But this afternoon, in an effort to clear my mental shelves, share imperfect joys, and make room for fresh and new, I’m finally throwing my random collection up in a single post and calling it a day.

Take that, perfectionism.

Three Years of Apple Season

Autumn 2014: Apple picking and birthday cake and picnics with friends at Kiyokawa Family Orchards. A break. A chance to leave Lucie home with Ted and celebrate my friend Heather‘s birthday and travel farther away from my one year old than ever before. (Hey, 75 miles was a reasonable baby step, right?)

Autumn 2015: Apple picking and kite flying and pizza by the river. Ted and I invited my dad to come to Hood River with us, and little two year old Lucie toddled her way down the rows and hitched a ride in the red wagon, and taking delighted little bites out of crisp, round fruits and sporting her overalls and tiny-tot mudboots.

Autumn 2016: Apple picking in my friend Mel’s back yard; Lucie with her little yellow bucket and me with baby Marion. I returned home to tackle apple butter and pie filling projects and managing a three year old sous chef…

“Life is still better than University. In school, your teacher is the fruit picker and you are the open fruit basket. Then you take those fruits and make cakes and pies. But life is going to give you the chance to go out there and pick those fruits yourself. Then you can eat them, or make them into something else; any which way, your own hands picked them!”
— C. JoyBell C.

And here they are: the two little fruits keeping me anchored to the earth, in and out of apple season.

They reveal nourishing lessons in life and mark time in a way I’ve never experienced so profoundly before.

I’ve been meditating on sowing and reaping lately.

Cultivating faithfulness to the tasks of the season, knowing that the unseen is often much, much more important than the seen and that the visible worth celebrating often comes after much invisible work.

I can’t be harvesting apples all year long.

And who would want to, anyway?

Kiyokawa Family Orchard – Apple season brings the chance to sample dozens and dozens of varieties: taste, pick, picnic, you name it!

Solstice Wood Cafe + Bar in Hood River, Oregon. Fresh air blowing in off the Columbia River and smells of wood fire pizza (with gluten free options for Lucie!)

Cardamom Apple Cider Butterone of my favorite recipes from Ashley English’s book Canning and Preserving

A season for everything under the sun – Ecclesiastes Three

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  • Reply Mel October 31, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Yay…my parents’ backyard (my backyard?) snagged a mention! It was wonderful having you guys out here. I spent this past weekend watching our favorite corgi run around in all the leaves that have now fallen. I guess pretty much everyone can find something to enjoy from that tree. ;)

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians October 31, 2016 at 10:57 am

      I’m so glad your dad didn’t mind wrangling the ladder for us ;) Thanks for sharing the bounty a few times this summer — I thought about mentioning the blueberries, too, but then I would’ve gone way off track…

      Ah, I’m imagining Winnie right now. Pleased with herself, no doubt.

  • Reply cindy buck October 31, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Staying in the present season, embracing it . . . my internal work right now. I love this. I am always very pleasantly surprised when I see a new post from you. The pictures and your words are so rich. XOXO

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians October 31, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Thank you for all the love and support you always send my way. You’re so encouraging. Here’s to everything in this present time… xx B

  • Reply ursulamarie November 1, 2016 at 8:45 am

    My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
    Toward heaven still,
    And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
    Beside it, and there may be two or three
    Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough
    But I am done with apple-picking now.

    – from After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost

    Great photos and beautiful writing too!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians November 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      I somehow missed this comment! Oh, it’s a perfect poem. Thank you. Truly.

      I’ve been so excited for you guys and your new house. Hope it’s a fun time of settling in…

      Hugs xx

    What say you?