Tuesday, November 10

End of the Season

Picking bags have been hung up for the season, ladders collected from the orchard.  Pickers have gone on their way, heading to places like Pittsburgh, Asheville, Portland (Maine) and Hawaii.  Some not sure where they will even end up next as they pack up their belongings and head off in cars, on buses or motorcycles.  "The trellis" is always the last block of trees to be picked, mostly cider apples some of them being sold to other orchards.  It was a very good crop this year.  I spent my last afternoon picking a few good Mutsu apples that were left and then Macouns, slightly overripe and small, but still perfectly good for cider.  The air was cool and as clouds rolled in as the day drew close to an end far before it seemed like it should, as the light faded I headed out of town moving on to my own unknown place.

The past few months all of a sudden seem to have passed more quickly than I thought.  Being one of the last to leave the bunkhouse felt very empty as I packed up a car full of possessions that had made my little corner of the otherwise bare bunkhouse feel like home to me.  Trudging through leaves that had not even shown a tint of color let alone any hit of falling when I first arrived, I feel a certain melancholia that one often feels when leaving a place or people that have come to hold significance.  If even for a short time, this place, the bunkhouse, the long rows of apple trees, the picking bag hung over my shoulders, have all grown to feel familiar, stability in a fleeting world.   

All the apples are in and the last of the leaves are falling to the ground covering the apples that have already begun to decompose.  I wonder how many times some of the molecules in an apple have been recycled as a tree nourishes itself with it's own fallen fruit.

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