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

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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?