Maples are already forecasting fall in the Laurentians, colouring the hills just north of Montreal, where the temperature is always a notch colder.
Beyond the explosion of color that will run into October (red maple turns brilliant scarlet; sugar maple becomes orange-red; black maple turns glowing yellow; while fir, cedar and spruce stay various shades of green and even blue), I’m most excited about gorging on Honey Crisp apples (yellow with red highlights) that I plan to pick up this week at a farm. A forty-pound box. Can’t wait.
I grew up in a family that revered apples – they were associated with affordable good health with a touch of luxury, doled out as snacks, desserts and as a reward for a task well done. My mother and I proudly ate the whole apple, core and all. When in season, eating a Macintosh brought on a chorus of comments about its sweetness, firmness, and tartness. The less than perfect apples were turned into applesauce or apple betty.
Over dinner last night, I interrupted and then refocused the conversation to what was on my mind – apples. I know that being impatient for an apple to be harvested before it is ripe makes no sense. But I needed to talk about how eating the creamy flesh of a fist-sized Honey Crisp is in itself a complete experience – with a beginning, middle and end.
I said to my friend, “I need to tell you how it works. It’s not a usual experience. Each bite has a soft crunchy snap (not like the hard crunch of a Mac) and sweet juiciness. With each crispy bite you marvel in disbelief at its goodness. Each bite begets another bite. I am not proud to say it, but I am selfish about these apples and only offer one to visitors as they leave my house. No more than one.”
Convinced by my animated hand gestures, she kindly said, “I believe you, there must be no other apple like it and let’s plan a trip to pick some.”
That’s the power of having a personal conviction, and the passion to make others see it your way. And if there is a touch of pleasure in it, all the better. I hope each of you are persuaded and inspired to rally around a cause of your choosing! You might find you are building a following.
What are you excited about this month? What would you like to be excited about?
Keep me posted,
Special: If you sign up for one month of coaching by October 1st, you will receive a free apple with every coaching session!
That's four of the best apples you'll ever have, not to mention the best coaching sessions. Promotion code: Honey Crisp
There is a story of passion between the two bronze figures in this sculpture and it goes like this:
Francesca da Rimini, forced for political reasons by her father into marriage with Giovanni Malatestash, falls in love with her husband's younger brother, Paolo. Though Paolo too was married, they had an affair for ten years. When they were finally discovered, Francesca and Paolo are murdered by her husband. As punishment for their transgressions, they are forever to be blown around in the "unforgiving winds" of the second circle of hell in Dante's Inferno.
The story reminds me of how we attempt to reconcile, over our lifetime, our fantasies and desires with the competing demands and obligations of work, family and life. This reconciliation also means choosing which desires and obligations are essential to our life and which are not. Along the way, we make conscious and unconscious choices to work out this deep and challenging matter. To guide us, we rely on a variety of moral, ethical, religious and spiritual frameworks as well as “healthy” doses of escapism and distractions.
Fantasies and desires here refers to those activities (mental, emotional and physical) which energize and excite us and give meaning to our lives. When we approach our life with energy and excitement, life is a brilliant adventure. We feel alive, free and enthusiastic with outlets for our creative expression. It doesn't get better!
Feelings of success and fulfillment are also achieved by meeting our obligations. However, when we feel saddled with responsibilities, a lack of perceived time for SELF leaves us drained, distracted and stressed.
Often, it's the lack of insight about what energizes, excites and gives meaning to our lives that causes much suffering.
We shouldn't give up. It's a worthwhile cause prioritizing and juggling the competing demands of our life. Effort to find and make meaning is a fundamental desire and obligation to ourselves. And, if something isn't calling to you right now, it will soon beat a path to your heart.
Keep you posted,
p.s If you want to comment on this or other blogs and have any reservation about leaving your name, you can use an alias if this allows you to express yourself more freely.
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.