Red-Cheeked Company

kingapple

wormhole

applefall

You are company, you red-cheeked spitz, or you salmon-fleshed greening!
I toy with you; press your face to mine, toss you in the air, roll you on the ground,
see you shine out where you lie amid the moss and dry leaves and sticks.
You are so alive! You glow like a ruddy flower.
You look so animated I almost expect to see you move.
How compact; how exquisitely tinted!
Stained by the sun and varnished against the rains.
An independent vegetable existence, alive and vascular as my own flesh;
capable of being wounded, bleeding, wasting away, and almost of repairing damages!

I think if I could subsist on you or the like of you,
I should never have an intemperate or ignoble thought,
never be feverish or despondent.
So far as I could absorb or transmute your quality
I should be cheerful, continent, equitable, sweet-blooded,
long-lived, and should shed warmth and contentment around.
~from John Burrough’s essay on “The Apple”

appledew2

applehole

Lo! sweetened with the summer light,
The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
Drops in a silent autumn night.
~Lord Alfred Tennyson

 

applefall2

This Muddy Earth

field52151
appledelicate
pearbloom

That whisper takes the voice
Of a Spirit, speaking to me,
Close, but invisible,
And throws me under a spell
At the kindling vision it brings;
And for a moment I rejoice,
And believe in transcendent things
That would make of this muddy earth
A spot for the splendid birth
Of everlasting lives,
Whereto no night arrives;
~Thomas Hardy from “In a Whispering Gallery” in Moments of Vision

If I listen carefully enough,
forgetting myself,
if I attend to His Voice,
the still small whisper that comes
as night fades away.
Light dawns kindling
over this sad world,
muddy though it be,
yet lit from above,
rejoicing, shouting:
reborn.
~EPG

cherrymossyroof

applesunset

pinkdog

field5215

The Last Apple

aloneapple

And then there is that day when all around,
all around you hear the dropping of the apples, one
by one, from the trees. At first it is one here and one there,
and then it is three and then it is four and then nine and
twenty, until the apples plummet like rain, fall like horse hoofs
in the soft, darkening grass, and you are the last apple on the
tree; and you wait for the wind to work you slowly free from
your hold upon the sky, and drop you down and down. Long
before you hit the grass you will have forgotten there ever
was a tree, or other apples, or a summer, or green grass below,
You will fall in darkness…
~Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine

appleoctober

Smelling the Sweetness

applesdown

kingapple

A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree
That had eased itself of its summer load,
And of all but its trivial foliage free,
Now breathed as light as a lady’s fan.
For there had been an apple fall
As complete as the apple had given man.
The ground was one circle of solid red.

May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.
~Robert Frost “Unharvested”

applefall

gravensteinwindfalls

Summer Will Come True

 

photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger

 

peas3

transparents

 

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas.

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you.
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick! – the gates are drawn apart.
~C.S. Lewis

eveninghydrangeapurple

pnpsunset714

steensmaquail2
photo by Kate Steensma

Lenten Grace — We Must Choose

Big_red_apple

Jesus,
Apple of God’s eye,
dangling solitaire
on leafless tree,
bursting red.

As he drops
New Eden dawns
and once again
we Adams choose:
God’s first fruit
or death.

—Christine F. Nordquist “Eden Inversed”

It has always been a choice
no longer forbidden
we are invited to first fruit

He offers Himself
broken open

so our hearts
might burst red
with Him