O is for Orchard: Finding The Sweet Apples of Life (#atozchallenge)

photo from flikr -

In September 2005 Louise Eldrich published her novel, The Painted Drum. The book, which I have not yet read, contains one of my favourite quotes of recent times. So good in fact, that I had one of my friends, Toni Legates, who is a Photoshop magician, create a photo montage with the saying. The montage is reproduced below.

This is a quote that resonates deeply for me at middle age. I think if I had encountered it ten or fifteen years ago, I would not have appreciated its full meaning – at least not in the context of my own journey. There are some extremely powerful messages in the lines of this quote. Some messages, I already knew, some messages I needed to hear and some messages that I have embraced.

By the time I reached middle age I had worked out that no-one can lead a rich life without taking emotional risks. People and their reactions are things we cannot control and there are times when you just have to put it out there. Life does not come with 100% absolute guarantees and it never will. However, I think most people get to that stage sometime in their life that they develop the confidence to know that they will be able to handle any negative consequences that may arise from taking emotional risks. I now have. Being prepared to risk emotionally means creating the potential to reap rich emotional rewards, a potential that was denied to me in the past.

I can also now more fully appreciate the need to let myself sit in the orchard of life and just listen. Having emerged from a time when I thought there was NO time to sit and think, I have now made appointments with myself to do just that. We wouldn’t think to break a committment to others, but we tend to quite readily do so in the case of commitments to ourselves. Well, I am giving my appointments with myself at least the SAME amount of importance as I do with my appointments with others. We need to process and have enough clarity of vision and clear headedness to pick up on the cues the universe sends our way.

Having given myself permission, I now find that the sweet apples of life are everywhere. I take gratitude in the small things. The small wins are to be savoured and deserve just as much, if not more, focus and energy than the more remote possibility of a big win. Yes, it would be nice to win the lottery, but what are the chances…really? So I am not waiting for life to hand me lemons or one giant apple, I am reaching out for as many smaller sweet apples as I can and taking a huge bite of them. Happy to say, that I have encountered very few rotten cores to date.

When life hands you apples, you could make apple sauce, but I’d rather enjoy their crispness.

Have any quotes or passages ever resonated deeply with you?

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

19 thoughts on “O is for Orchard: Finding The Sweet Apples of Life (#atozchallenge)

  1. Love it…and I can understand why it resonates so strongly now. My favourite quote is this one…

    “If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.” Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915)

  2. This is such a beautiful post and I love the montage that your friend created! I’m so glad that you found me, and I hope to see more of you!

  3. I can relate to this post in so many ways. The quote is beautiful and I can honestly say it wouldn’t mean a thing to me 10 years ago. There is nothing more powerful than giving yourself permission to pause and enjoy the moment. Here is the quote that is piercing my head these days..

    “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”
    Marianne Williamson

    • My high school motto was luceat lux vestra, let your light shine.

      Your quote really resonates for me also, I didn’t let my light shine until my 40’s so I really understand the liberation both for myself and others – thank you for sharing.

  4. Great piece, and glad you are making the time to sit comfortably with yourself.
    I have a few quotes, not near as resonant as that, but it works for me:
    Jimmy Buffett – If I had it all to do over again, I’d just get myself drunk and I’d jump right back in (Landfall)
    Winston Churchill – Never give up, never give up, never give up
    Indiana Jones – It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

    What? Never said I was Descartes! 😉

  5. This is one I keep coming back to time and time again –

    People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

    When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason,you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilleed; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
    When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

    LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway);, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being part of my life…..

    • Sherry, quote/saying is amazing. I have never before thought about the distinction between reason, season and lifetime but yes, it’s so true. I have always said people come into your life for a reason, but I can see now that’t rather limiting. Thank you for sharing this here.

  6. Wow! A truly beautiful post my friend and How honored I am that you included my creation! Thank you so much! Keep them coming….

  7. My favorite quotes change daily as each time I read something that resonates within me, I move it onto the list of greats. Thanks for posting, I could imagine myself sitting under a tree and could hear the apples dropping around me. Great imagery and a good read.

    • Thanks DAF, I have a habit of collecting quotes. I saw a great one yesterday by John F Kennedy:

      When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.

      Are you going to zig or are you going to zag?

  8. Pingback: Let’s Phlog Monday: Showcasing the Scrapography Talent Of Toni Legates | Raising the Curtain

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