Ahh, apple picking in Ontario, a quintessential activity. Crisp fall weather, bright leaves in shades of burnt reds and oranges. A joyous, happy time for many. And one of intense personal reflection for me. Not in a, “This year I am thankful for ___” kind of way, but more of a “Girl, chill.”
Part One: Maybe I’m a Bit Particular About Things
We made the trek to Albion Orchards near Caledon to enjoy a warm, sunny day. Clutching a Starbucks and sporting plaid, I was one Instagram post away from hipster perfection. The line (yes, there was a line to pick-your-own apples; bless you, hipsters) moved quickly and we picked up a bag and entered the enormous orchard, pausing to take a photo of the map to assist with our apple selection.
Then I began mentally overhauling and reorganizing the orchard.
“You know what would be useful,” I mused to Steve who had immediately beelined to a tree to pluck a few apples free, “if these rows were labelled. I don’t think these apples are what the map says they are.” “Uh huh,” responded Steve as the apples landed with a gentle thunk into the bag.
We wandered a few more rows, and I had yet to find what I was looking for (sidenote, though – is this not a parallel for life? Reasonable apples right in front of you, yet always searching for perfect ones? Deep, yo). I looked at Steve again, who was happily pulling some Macs free, before continuing with my insights. “Seriously, though – if they labelled each row, they could also indicate tasting notes and the history behind these apples.” “Tasting notes?” said Steve, incredulously. “Yes! You know. How you can use them. What they taste like. Not all apples work for all recipes. Plus I want to know the history of them! This is a missed learning opportunity.”
Steve just stared at me with a look of slight bemusement, slight regret into what he had gotten himself into. I am familiar with that look.
Part Two: Scratch ‘Particular” and Replace with “Quirky”We continued on, and I stopped in front of a particularly full tree with my arms outstretched. “Look at how beautiful this tree is!” I exclaimed. It’s the perfect tree. Full of fruit. Working so hard.” I pulled one apple free with a gentle tug, and thanked the tree for its contribution to our collection. As we made our way down the row, I thanked several other trees for rising to the challenge and for being such hard workers. “You’re looking really lovely today!” I told one tree with a smile.
At this point, the look of slight bemusement had faded from Steve’s face.
Part Three: Might Just Be Weird
Two hours and much wandering later, I had yet to fill our bag and poor Steve was weary. “Maybe we can just take a few apples from each tree?” he asked. At this point, I was actually in a tree, as I had opted to walk in with arms outstretched (I may have hugged it). I didn’t want to only pick fruit from the outlying branches, as I felt it was unfair to the fruit hanging on the inside that had worked just as hard to grow. I also didn’t want to offend the neighbouring trees by not taking some of their bounty as well.
And at that moment, I realized my level of quirk had perhaps reached new heights. Or lows. So I quickly picked apples from the trees surrounding us and we headed home with a full bag.
So – apple picking. You may come home with more than elaborate plans for crisps and pies and yummy snacks. You may also gain some personal insights as well, and appreciation for the patience of your loved ones.