Green Apples.

I flee work early with my daughter and her dog, to watch my younger daughter play soccer. Mid-October, and in my world everyone clamors to be outside as much as possible.

In the parking lot, a rusty white Toyota pickup sports a peeling bumpersticker with Joseph Campbell’s advice: Follow your bliss.

In my young woman days, I wholeheartedly championed this, easy-peasy, of course, I thought. Then I entered what seemed like a labyrinthian period of my life where the notion of bliss seemed facile and sometimes outright stupid. On this sunny afternoon, I chat with parents and strangers on the grass about little things — who’s started their furnace already and the merits of sprinkling cinnamon on hot oatmeal and is that the new superintendent with the coach?

As the sun heads down, the spectators pull on jackets. The wiser among us brought blankets. I find my hat in my car and loan my daughter my jacket. My youngest is a senior. Next year I won’t be here, clustered among the parents and grandparents, and so each game seems a bead on a counting game. On the way home, we stop at the general store for curried dumplings.

All afternoon I kept thinking of Ruth Stone’s achingly lovely poem “Green Apples.”

In August we carried the old horsehair mattress
To the back porch
And slept with our children in a row.
The wind came up the mountain into the orchard
Telling me something:
Saying something urgent.
I was happy.
The green apples fell on the sloping roof
And rattled down.
The wind was shaking me all night long;
Shaking me in my sleep
Like a definition of love,
Saying, this is the moment,
Here, now.

4 thoughts on “Green Apples.

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