The promise of a beautiful autumn morning pulls us out of our pajamas before noon on a Saturday. Rows of bounty await, and we follow their call . . . out to the orchard . . . to feel the smooth skin of ripe fruit and the mushy squish of rotten apples under our feet. We smell the air, fresh and clear, and the aroma of baking goodies in the country store. The crunch of gravel beneath our feet and the thump-thump of Squeezy’s pink bucket provide the rhythm for our voices and the laughing excitement of the children.
We reach the trees, the gnarled branches bearing their crimson offering. We choose the best.
The boys dart under low branches, rescuing the soundest apples from the ground, filling bags. Squeezy is content with whatever apples she can reach, and her pink bucket soon fills with mushy apples, holey apples, and a couple of good apples.Our mouths begin to water, and the search is on for the very best apple, to be picked and eaten right here in this avenue of harvest.
The camera dies before I can force everyone into a group, set the timer, prove we were all there. It doesn’t matter. We lock these moments in our memories– the blue sky above, the grasshoppers jumping around us, the heaviness of our harvest, the fuzzy caterpillar inching across the gravel as we trek back to the van. We remember, and we know why the Psalmist told us to taste and see that the Lord is good. We taste the juice that dribbles down our chin, and we remember.
He is good.
October 15th is set aside as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Tonight at 7:00 local time, I will light two candles in remembrance of each of my babies that died before birth. Even in the deepest fullness of life, I do not forget. I would be honored if you would remember with me.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . .