Looking out my window today I’m pondering the soon to be upon us fall season. Every day right now Town of Cobourg employees drive by for their early morning watering of the flowers run. But soon the flowers lining light poles along King Street will be gone as the days get even shorter and the nights get colder. The arrival of fall also means the changing of colors as soon leaves will start transforming from their usual green to brilliant red, orange and yellow.
Of course fall reminds me of a number of growing up experiences. Over the past few weeks I’ve been pondering those childhood experiences and sharing some of them here. I guess I’m in a reminiscing kind of mood these days. As a kid – aside from memories of returning to school – I also remember Saturday apple picking trips in the fall. Every year we would head to the County – Prince Edward County that is – stopping at a relatives’ apple orchard to pick apples. Usually we stuck with the grounders as the slightly bruised apples were a little cheaper than ones directly off the tree. The grounders were also closer to grab instead of standing on tip toes in order to pick apples from the high tree limbs. From time to time we would laugh and joke around bumping into trees just to hear the “thump, thump, thump” of falling apples and we would exclaim, “Look! New grounders!” Once all the apples were collected we’d head home for a time of cleaning, peeling and apple pie and apple sauce making. Well, my Mom did most of the peeling and cooking, but I always liked to help clean the apples making them very shiny just to have the skin peeled off them. My Mom had one of those old fashioned peeling machines which was always cool to watch. Spinning the apple around trying to make one solid long thin strip of apple skin was always fun to do.
This year Ontario Apple Growers say the summers hot, sunny weather has put some extra flavor into the crop. Apparently the starches in apples change into sugar as sunlight hits them and this has been a very good year for that process. That means sweeter and juicer apples! It’s interesting to note that while we’ve had a rather dry summer, the upside is lots of sunshine. Now we’re hearing more and more how not only is this a good thing for apples, but we’re even hearing stories of larger crop yields than ever before in some fields too. While some are lamenting drought like conditions, it appears there is still blessing in the land even in the midst of drought.
Sometimes the best thing to do during drought seasons is to get into the sunshine – or Son-shine as I like to spell it. In the midst of tough times King David often found rest, peace and help in God. In Psalm 17 he writes; “Show me Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand. Keep me as the apple of Your eye. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 17:7-8). While we shouldn’t ignore hard times and try to wish them away, we will discover feelings such as bitterness, hurt and despair can be sweetened as we remember we are the “apple of His eye”. When we get into His sunshine, we discover He will help change our attitude and protect us in the “shadow of His wings”.
No matter what’s going on in your life today, I want to encourage you to find comfort and sweetness in the promise and assurance that you are indeed the “apple of His eye” and He is “hiding you and protecting you in the shadow of His wings”.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.