Fall, the peak of harvest time, tugs at my good farm roots. The air takes on a sweet earthy smell. In every direction, the land’s bountiful gifts lay over the fields like a table set for a feast. When farmsteads were established, it was customary to have an apple orchard, usually planted close to house and heart. Planting an apple orchard was a priority when our home was built. The scent of apple blossoms perfuming the air in late spring is like the breath of an angel. The aroma of apple anything emanating from an oven enhances the spirit of the dreariest soul. A crop of apples gives me a plentiful harvest of happiness.
“The pickles aren’t gonna pick themselves. The cows aren’t gonna milk themselves.” This was one of my Mom’s favorite directives growing up. There seemed to be an infinite number of things that couldn’t get done by themselves. During autumn’s bounty on our small dairy farm, harvest season had no end. The difficulty can be in discerning when enough is enough. There is no greater feeling of contentment that I know of than having enough … enough hay to make it through the winter … enough preserves in the pantry … enough time … enough love. Enough more times than not meant rolling up your shirt sleeves and wiping sweat from your brow. Fall, in the peak of its bountiful harvest is a time when I feel the essence of what enough is….it’s the feeling of thankfulness that fills you with contentment … enough.
Our apple trees are bearing fruit. The crop is good but not as good as years past. I was raised to believe happiness in one’s life required a certain amount of effort. You had to work at being happy. Gathering happiness may necessitate going out on a limb but it’s there hanging on every branch on the tree of life. Happy doesn’t always come to you. You have to go out and get happy.
As I gathered up the deliciousness of apple harvest, I came to understand a wider perspective of things that can’t get done by themselves like being happy. Happiness doesn’t fill you unless you are grateful and being grateful means it matters not if you have a handful of apples in your bushel basket or it’s heaping full. Understanding the fullness of gratitude means anytime happiness doesn’t come to you, you can go to happiness.
Get grateful and harvest happy.
McIntosh. Cortland. Red Delicious. Granny Smith.