All the Green Apples They Please

In the orchard I halter Pip to a tree for morning milking. The blossoms are off now, the fruit is set. The trees are old, and of varieties intended for cider, rather than fresh eating, though we eat them fresh, anyway. At least the boys do. In a few months, they’ll not be found without an apple in hand. They know all the best trees already. I used to tell them not to eat too many green apples, that so much unripe fruit might make them sick. Now I see that it won’t be many years until they are gone, and this summer I want them to eat all the green apples they please. Heck, I’ll even pick the ones they can’t reach.

It is raining. Not hard. Just enough to know it’s raining. Earlier, before full light, I’d run, and it had been raining then, too, in this same soft way. I have taken to picking up empty beer cans along my route, and I like to carry one in my hand, as if I were drinking from it, mostly because I think if I were in a passing car and I saw someone running with a beer in hand, it would give me a reason to smile where perhaps before I’d not been able to find one.

But I run early, and on a little-traveled road, and cars rarely pass me by, so the pleasure I get from holding an empty beer can in my hand as I run is imaginary. It’s like this secret joke I carry with me, one that I may never get to tell, but that even in the carrying lightens my step a little.

Done milking, I unhitch Pip, and she ambles off to join her kind. Now the rain has picked up, and the drops form indentations in the foamed layer at the top of the milk bucket as I walk through the orchard.

9 thoughts on “All the Green Apples They Please”

  1. Nice. Finding pleasure along the way during the course of a full day. I love it. Working on that myself. I’ll be on the bike for 20 miles today while working to get stuff done at two farms, get ready for a side job, etc. I appreciate the reminder to find the pleasure in all of it: bike, work, and krap, even the endless little decisions. Enjoy the journey with an apple or empty in hand, keep the long view in mind. Cool. Cheers and thanks…

    1. Oh, and nice job on the Permaculture Voices podcast. I’ve been devouring all of Diego’s episodes over there, which has been really transformative in my life. Thanks for being a big part of a real metamorphosis I’m going through. Not that it’s easy or anything. It just feels right…

  2. On my morning runs, I grab free dog poop bags that are dispensed at the local parks. Walking four dogs a day, I always need them. During the summer, I also normally find some free raspberries for the picking at these same parks. It always make me smile to think what other people are thinking when they see me running with a dog poop bag of full something squishy (but with no dogs). I really enjoy those post-run raspberry pancakes.

  3. I used to eat all green super sour super hard apples from grandpas orchard. Grown ups would yell that I was just wasting them eating before they were ripe and it made no sense whatsoever – how can it be “a waste” when you are eating/doing what you like instead of what others like you to do.

  4. I once found a $100 bill and a bouquet of red roses on the side of the road while out on a run several years ago. It was in an undeveloped area so there was no where I could go to try to find out who had lost them. As I ran along, I wondered if people driving by were thinking, “Look! The Runaway Bride!” when they saw me. I had a lot of fun thinking about what circumstances might have led to those two items being tossed together on the side of the road. But, honestly, my boys and I now pick up candy wrappers and beer cans on our hikes and, while I wish the litter wasn’t there to be picked up at all, it’s even more fun than cash and roses.

  5. Too funny re. the green apples. I still remember how my grandma told me that her older brother died (in the early part of the 1900’s) from eating “too many green apples.” Makes me wonder what the real cause was?!

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