Once a year in the fall, my uncle would drive us to a place filled with all kinds of fresh apples. They were in hundreds of tall, round baskets. The place was called Aspetuck. It was an old farm stand, a large wooden room, like a barn, filled with apples everywhere.
The aroma of the apples was overwhelming, like a perfume made from all the different kinds of apples. We’d bring the aroma home with us. And they were beautiful to look at, too. The yellow leaves had fallen, and were falling, all around us. This is pure New England fall.
We’d buy a basket, and eat one apple on the way home. I like Macintosh apples the best. Leaves were still on the apple stems. There’s something about the fruit of the trees, especially when they are dropping their red and yellow leaves all around you and on you. “Touch me,” they say. “Let’s play,” they say. The trees step forward in our awareness.
We had an apple tree in our back yard. An old lady from the neighborhood would pick the green apples from the ground into her apron. The ground would smell like cider. You could hear the apples plunk onto the ground. We were an Aspetuck to her.
Every year the trees were filled with green apples. I felt at home near that tree. This tree was my friend. It’s amazing that a few months earlier there were apple blossoms, so it is like we are eating apple flowers.
In some strange, real way, the apple is the image of the tree that made it.
I feel closer to the trees than I thought.
Perhaps you would like to pick some fresh apples, too.