Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Apple season

We're heading into Autumn here in Tasmania, and for those of us who love the Huon Valley, that means apple season.

Here's a piece that the ABC did on Lucaston Park Orchards, the nearest neighbouring orchard to Pilgrim Hill, a few years back. Andrew and Sylvia Griggs have been kind enough to support and encourage us and introduce us to the world of orchardists and seasonal fruit pickers; a world we want to be part of. 

It fills us with excitement to think that - God willing - we will one day host seasonal workers just like those in the story. I look forward with hope to the day when Pilgrim Hill will buzz with the activity of apple season.
Here's a tiny bit of a poem for you, crammed with meaning (in true 17th century style), from the second part of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
Apples were they with which we were beguiled;
Yet sin, not apples, hath our souls defiled.
Apples forbid, if ate, corrupts the blood;
To eat such, when commanded, does us good.
Drink of his flagons, then, thou Church, his dove,
And eat his apples, who are sick of love. 
Now, there is nothing in Genesis to suggest that the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (yes, the origin of our phrase 'forbidden fruit') was anything like an apple. It's just an image that has proved hard to shake and has had a long tradition in art and literature.

Bunyan takes the idea further and reminds us that even if it was indeed an apple, we now enjoy them guiltlessly as part of God's creation. (There's quite a bit more going on, with the final lines referencing The Song of Solomon, but I'm trying really hard not to turn this into a literary post...feel free to comment below if you want to unpack it further.)

Apples were made to gleam on branches, simmer in pots, inspire poets, ferment in vats, nourish people and possums, and to remind us that "something is gathered in,/Worth the lifting and the stacking" (James McAuley's "In the Huon Valley"). Also, perhaps, to bring French backpackers to Tasmania.