Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Trust is Built One Apple at a time


Every fall it happened at least once and many falls it happened two or three times. I was sent out to battle with simply a brown bag and my speed as a weapon. To say that I was afraid would be quite the understatement. I entered the battle every time convinced that I would not make it out alive. So where was I and how did I get there? What crazy universe did I find myself in? Where was this mythical battlefield? Simple, I was in Granny’s backyard!
Out in Granny’s backyard stood this huge old apple tree. Growing up that tree was like a huge watchtower. It simply overwhelmed everything else in the backyard, at least in my mind. I am not sure how old the tree actually was, I simply remember it always being there and always seemingly taunting me. Even in the dead of winter when all else was covered by snow, it seemed to still call out to me and tell me that the fall was coming.
I knew that eventually that tree would be full of apples once again. I guess for some people the thought of an apple tree in the backyard would be a great one. It’s perhaps the idea that the apples would be yours for the picking. The apple pies that Granny was sure to make and boy can she make some apple pie! It might be the thought of as the apples come out on the tree it means summer is here and schools not in session.
But for me, it meant none of those things, for me it simply meant that I was about to hear from Granny that one phrase that even to this day sends shivers down my spine, “Take a bag and go fill it up with apples and I will give you a quarter.” Now I can hear you know saying how wonderful that sounds, Granny was going to give me a quarter for being out in the sun and picking a bag full of apples. Oh but see that’s just the thing, you couldn’t be more wrong.
It is often those things that we like the most that are our biggest downfalls. Yes, as a child thought of a nice shiny quarter was very appealing. I was not opposed to the money at all, I was simply afraid of what I had to go through to actually get it.
See I was not picking nice fresh apples of the tree. No, I had to go out into the yard and pick up the apples that had been lying on the ground. These apples were the ones that had begun to rot on the ground. Granny had seven kids, most of them were moved from the house by the time I had started my apple adventures. So if I did not pick them up or if my cousins Billy and Mark did not pick them up then they just laid there.
Now I don’t know how much you know about what happens to apples as they lie around in the sun but let me tell you it is not pretty. The apple begins to rot and over time gets very soft and mushy. Now before you try and judge me too quick, it was not the condition of the apples was the problem, although it was not fun picking up rotten apples.
No, it was not the rotten apples but it was what happened to the rotten apples. I am not sure of the science but I believe from experience that rotten apples must secrete some chemical that bees from miles around are attracted to. Yup, that’s right bees. I was in a war with bees and it was a war I was destined to lose time and time again.
I am not sure if you ever in the military as I was but at least in the military they gave you some protection. In Granny’s army, you were simply given a brown paper bag and told to go out and not come back without victory. So each time I trudged out unsure of how it was going to turn out. Yet because it was Granny I kept going out there.
I knew one thing with certainty and that was that I could always trust Granny. I might get hurt and I might fall down. I might run away screaming from some bee that flew within 500 feet of me and I might even get stung (only happened once) but I knew that Granny would always be there for me.
She gave me a sense of protection and love that I knew was going to always be there. Granny taught me at a young age that there are certain people in your life that you will always be able to trust. She showed me that trust and love are available to everyone and are things that everyone truly deserves and needs.
Trust built with paper bags, apples, bees, and a Granny’s love.

1 comment:

Thankful Paul said...

After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for. ECCLESIASTES 12:13 TEV