The sometimes strange synchronicity of life

Like most of my stories lately, this one is long and a little bit rambling. It involves fall and homeschool and books and reading and even, apples. So here we go:

A few days ago Bennett asked me where apples come from. To use one of Bennett’s very favorite expressions lately, Yike! Some homeschool! So I quickly set up a field trip to a neighbor’s apple orchard, where we could pick MacIntoshes and Golden Deliciouses and Braeburns in the fall sunshine.

The apples were all around; many of them were falling from the trees, hitting the ground with quiet thumps. It was an odd sound, disconcerting, but also a little comforting, too. A letting go, if you will. A stripping away of everything else but what is essential, to face the coming winter.

Later, in the night, when the kids were settled and the house was quiet, I picked up my reading, a book by Louise Erdrich called The Painted Drum (HarperCollins, 2005). And here is what I read:

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.

Tears filled my eyes, because it seemed as if the words were written directly for me; as if they lept off the page and became a voice whispering gently in my ear.

And I thought, I’m trying. I’m tasting as many apples as I can.

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13 thoughts on “The sometimes strange synchronicity of life

  1. Jennifer, thank you for this lovely quote and for your beautiful post. I’m so grateful you shared it and so grateful that Wesley then shared it with me because, as you read on my blog, it really spoke to me. And so much of what you’ve shared here on your blog resonates with me, as well. My son Benjamin is autistic, and though he is doing incredibly well now, it has been a long, hard, but ultimately rewarding and joyful journey.

    Anyway, thanks so much for your kind comment. I’m so glad you’re sharing your journey with the world–it’s obvious you are touching many, many lives in a very special way. May God bless you, your beautiful boy Avery, and all of your lovely family. Beth

  2. I have goosebumps on my arms and head from reading your post. I think I may have to post the quote on my blog so I can read it daily and to remind me of what is important in this life. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Isn’t it so interesting when we read something, meet someone, experience something that teaches us a lesson about what we are going through? It’s happened a lot since Jack was born.

  4. Wow, that passage spoke to me also…..isn’t it amazing that we hear [or read] the right words at the right time.

    We have been doing a lot of apple picking [my neighbor has an orchard a mile up the lane, plus we have four trees on our property]

    Which leads me to two books we read recently, that I think your guys will like [Even though Emma Sage is in school,I’m still co-teaching her at home] so apples & pips and changes [of the season] are current focus for us.

    The first book is one I delighted in….as I always imagined myself on a wagon train heading out west [I loved Little House books and series as a young girl] and I actually thought of you out on your lake when I read this one. It is called ‘Apples to Oregon’ by Deborah Hopkinson

    the other is called ‘The Apple Pip Princess’ by Jane Ray.

    Enjoy this magical time of the year……

  5. Beautiful. As always, thank you for sharing. Your writing and the topics you choose to share always seem to hit home for me. It is simple and honest, yet complex beneath the surface. Just like the new day that every mother faces.

    And I love the re-designed blog – what a great picture of Avery.

  6. Truth can be so hard to face sometimes — maybe even most of the time. What you describe here reflects much of what I have been going through, and it is sad to say that I’ve been spending time lately regretting some of the apples I think I might of missed. I don’t know that it’s necessarily a waste of time to regret; as I say, sometimes the truth is hard to face but it brings growth. I guess I’m trying to say that I think my sadness about “missed apples” is okay as long as it doesn’t go on…and especially if it brings a greater appreciation for the apple I have today. Anyway, I’m trying, too!
    Thanks, Jen.

  7. Because of fateful and touching moments like the one I just experienced when reading your post is that I love your writing and always come to Pinwheels. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe, if you open to it, it can expand your heart and consciousness, taking you to higher levels. I’m so grateful for your generosity, sharing Louise’s wisdom is such a precious gift. The language of the soul is universal and when we are willing to listen to its messages and act on them ~with all our heart and being~ we can find so many treasures. Jennifer, you are a beautiful soul, I’m so happy I listened to my heart and found “Road Map to Holland”. Namaste~

  8. Strange and beautiful synchronicity, indeed. I am a firm believer that everythinnis connected in some way; when we recognize those connections, new ones get made and our hearts and minds stretch even more. Your writing —and spirit —always touches me.

  9. Jennifer,

    (Wow, I love the new site! The banner is beautiful…)

    The passage you quote is simply amazing. I’ve read some of her earlier books, but now, having just read this, I am tempted to find myself a copy of The Painted Drum. What beautiful, simple wisdom. Universal. It speaks so much to what I’ve been feeling, going through in recent days. And though we don’t have an apple orchard close by, I can see the apples falling in my mind, and my arm outstretched, pointed toward the sky.

    Thank you for sharing this. xx

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