Harvesting Apples: Connecting Across Continents
“I’m no longer searching, I'm just opening.” -MARK NEPO
This week, I've been out in the early autumn sun harvesting squash blossoms, tomatoes, raspberries and many varieties of apples: eaters and cookers. So many delicious apples.
One of the many wonderful things about being in the garden and engaging in this "green gym" activity is that it connects me to everything and increases my appreciation of the natural cycles of life. These cycles are simple and inevitable and wonderful if we can stop searching for anything else but what is natural intelligence.
And all the elements are literally here in my hands. It makes me feel very alive, awake and opens my mind, body and spirit to what is happening here and now.
It's Apple country here in Devon. Like many of the western bits of France and England, these Celtic lands are famous for their delicious and abundant ciders and apples.
So too, on Cortes Island, Hollyhock where I'll be in just over two weeks' time for my workshop retreat on Grief, Grace and Gratitude, it has its own bountiful crop of apples. Juicy, alive, abundant fruit ready for harvest. Crumbles to be made, apple rings to dehydrate, jam to simmer, compote to cook, and apple pies of course.
It's wonderful to stop the searching and simply to surrender to what is at harvest time. It's Autumn, apples are everywhere. There is beauty in simply opening up to this. My nervous system can rest and relax and feel simply more awake. A life lived awake also involves letting go and grief. Natural intelligence. Natural cycles. Natural necessary aspects of living.
When we feel grief authentically, and allow the feeling fully, then our bodies and spirits open up to what is happening now. It takes time and space. And inside of the contraction and avoidance of what we don't want, once it is felt, is space and often joy. Opening to “what is”, all of it, gives us a harvest of fluidity, freedom and resilience.
The letting go of a ripe apple falling from the tree as fruit. The cycle is complete for now as an end and a beginning simultaneously. There is grief perhaps and also the graceful rightness of things ending as they do and so they must, to make way for cyclical changes and new beginnings, as well as delicious apple treats. Gratitude and Thanksgiving naturally arise and we can enjoy the end of the search and simply, gracefully perhaps, vulnerably and tenderly, surrender our searching and live fully awake.
What are you harvesting this autumn? What crops are culminating? What are you more curious about than afraid of? What is your harvest now?
Here’s to your life’s harvest and the embrace of natural cycles.