November 2, 2009

This weekend we visited an Apple Orchard in the North Georgia Mountains. In this one orchard there were 100,000 apple trees. I could not believe how many apples they were selling in this store. There were so many varieties: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gold Rush, Mutsu (one of my favorites), Cameo, Winesap, Arkansas Black, Yates, Pink Lady (my all time favorite), Rome, Criterion, and Fuji. We tasted every one of them, not to mention all sorts of apple products (cider, apple butter, applesauce, fried apple pies). The crisp, cold, juicy flavor of a fresh North Georgia apple is quickly helping apples move up on my list of favorite fruit (behind strawberries, satsumas, and peaches)!

As we drove away from the orchard, I could not stop thinking about the vast number of apples we saw in one place. It was amazing to me that all of those apples came from the trees right behind the fruit stand where we bought them. It reminded me that apples are not human-made food. The cycle that the tree goes through- growing leaves, growing and ripening fruit, changing the colors of their leaves, dropping their leaves to rest- was created by a power much greater than all of us. The apple tree is one of the many trees and plants that God gave us to provide food for us. The trees are tended by loving hands of farmers who plant, nurture, and harvest the fruit, but the tree itself was not created by humans. The trees survival depends on elements beyond our control- sunshine and rain.

What does this say to me? It reminds me that, first and foremost, God provides for us in all ways even down to trees that provide a yummy, delicious apple for me to enjoy. It also reminds me of the fact that we are co-creators in this world. God creates things, but we, too, have an active role in this world. We are called to help create, just as the farmers are called to help nurture the trees to produce fruit.

The question I am left asking is, “What is God calling me to help create?”

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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  1. Chris

    OOOPS! I posted the comment in the wrong one.

    I love this imagery – we spoke in class today about how we “enact our environment,” how we cannot truly be independent of what surrounds us. So, while I accept that what surrounds me was created, I have to accept the responsibility that I help create it on a daily basis. Very thought-provoking, Bec!

  2. Ann-Katherine

    beautiful words, Becky! I love finding God’s magnificents in the simple aspects of life…like apples! Let’s make apple pie one day.



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