The story of Doctor Reefy and his courtship of the tall dark girl who became his wife and left her money to him is a very curious story. It is delicious, like the twisted little apples that grow in the orchards of Winesburg. In the fall one walks in the orchards and the ground is hard with frost underfoot. The apples have been taken from the trees by the pickers. They have been put in barrels and shipped to the cities where they will be eaten in apartments that are filled with books, magazines, furniture, and people. On the trees are only a few gnarled apples that the pickers have rejected. They look like the knuckles of Doctor Reefy's hands. One nibbles at them and they are delicious. Into a little round place at the side of the apple has been gathered all of its sweetness. One runs from tree to tree over the frosted ground picking the gnarled, twisted apples and filling his pockets with them. Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples. ("Paper Pills")
But why should not the New Englander try new adventures - not lay so much stress on his grain, his potato and grass crop, and his orchards - and raise other crops than these? Why concern ourselves so much about our beans for seed, and not be concerned at all about a new generation of men.
Henry David Thoreau
No one lives on the top of the mountain. It's fine to go there occasionally -for inspiration, for new perspectives. But you have to come down. Life is lived in the valleys. That's where the farms and gardens and orchards are, and where the plowing and the work is done. That's where you apply the visions you may have glimpsed from the peaks.
Arthur Gordon Webster
And Botany I rank with the most valuable sciences, whether we consider its subjects as furnishing the principal subsistence of life to man and beast, delicious varieties for our tables, refreshments from our orchards, the adornments of our flower-borders, shade and perfume of our groves, materials for our buildings, or medicaments for our bodies.
Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?
Sam Gamgee The Return of the King Peter Jackson from J R R Tolkien
Swamps where cedars grow and turtles wait on logs but not for anything in particular; fields bordered by crooked fences broken by years of standing still; orchards so old they have forgotten where the farmhouse is. In the north I have eaten my lunch in pastures rank with ferns and junipers, all under fair skies with a wind blowing.
The world that was not mine yesterday now lies spread out at my feet, a splendor. I seem, in the middle of the night, to have returned to the world of apples, the orchards of Heaven. Perhaps I should take my problems to a shrink, or perhaps I should enjoy the apples that I have, streaked with color like the evening sky.
The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,as if orchards were dying high in space.Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no."And tonight the heavy earth is fallingaway from all other stars in the loneliness.We're all falling. This hand here is falling.And look at the other one. It's in them all.And yet there is Someone, whose handsinfinitely calm, holding up all this falling.
Rainer Maria Rilke
...there was another, gorier parturition, when two nations incarnated out of one. A foreigner drew a magic line on a map and called it the new border; it became a river of blood upon the earth. And the orchards, fields, factories, businesses, all on the wrong side of that line, vanished with a wave of the pale conjuror's wand.
Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage each paycheck. Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget.
Ezra Taft Benson
Truly I have looked into the very heart of darkness, and refused to yield to its paralyzing influence, but in spirit I am one of those who walk the morning. What if all dark, discouraging moods of the human mind come across my way as thick as the dry leaves of autumn? Other feet have traveled that road before me, and I know the desert leads to god as surely as the green, refreshing fields, and orchards.
The great and amorous sky curved over the earth, and lay upon her as a pure lover. The rain, the humid flux descending from heaven for both man and animal, for both thick and strong, germinated the wheat, swelled the furrows with fecund mud and brought forth the buds in the orchards. And it is I who empowered these moist espousals, I the great Aphrodite ....
EVERYONE suddenly burst out singing; And I was filled with such delight As prisoned birds must find in freedom, Winging wildly across the white Orchards and dark-green fields; on""on""and out of sight. Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted; And beauty came like the setting sun: My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away ... O, but Everyone Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.
Earthly love is a brief and penurious stream, which only flows in spring, with a long summer drought. The change from a burning desert, treeless, springless, drear, to green fields and blooming orchards in June, is slight in comparison with that from the desert of this world's affection to the garden of God, where there is perpetual, tropical luxuriance of blessed love.
Henry Ward Beecher
He Looked and smelt like Autumn's very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet juice of apples, his hat sprinkled with pips, and everywhere about him the sweet atmosphere of cider which at its first return each season has such an indescribable fascination for those who have been born and bred among the orchards.
Across the land a faint blue veil of mist Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober Till frost shall make them flame; silent and whist The drooping cherry orchards of October Like mournful pennons hang their shriveling leaves Russet and orange: all things now decay; Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves, And sad the robins pipe at set of day.
The era of wild apples will soon be over. I wander through old orchards of great extent, now all gone to decay, all of native fruit which for the most part went to the cider mill. But since the temperance reform and the general introduction of grafted fruit, no wild apples, such as I see everywhere in deserted pastures, and where the woods have grown up among them, are set out. I fear that he who walks over these hills a century hence will not know the pleasure of knocking off wild apples.
Henry David Thoreau
I don't know what rituals my kids will carry into adulthood, whether they'll grow up attached to homemade pizza on Friday nights, or the scent of peppers roasting over a fire, or what. I do know that flavors work their own ways under the skin, into the heart of longing. Where my kids are concerned I find myself hoping for the simplest things: that if someday they crave orchards where their kids can climb into the branches and steal apples, the world will have trees enough with arms to receive them.
Today that legend is inscribed on the stones that were used to build the walls of the school, and as the water falls out of the sky and over those stones, the words of the legend are carried down from the mountains and into the fields and gardens and orchards of Afghanistan. And as the water and the words rush past, who can fail to turn to his neighbor and whisper, with humility and awe-if this is what the weakest, the least valued, the most neglected among us are capable of achieving, truly is there anything we cannot do?
I thought how utterly we have forsaken the Earth, in the sense of excluding it from our thoughts. There are but few who consider its physical hugeness, its rough enormity. It is still a disparate monstrosity, full of solitudes, barrens, wilds. It still dwarfs, terrifies, crushes. The rivers still roar, the mountains still crash, the winds still shatter. Man is an affair of cities. His gardens, orchards and fields are mere scrapings. Somehow, however, he has managed to shut out the face of the giant from his windows. But the giant is there, nevertheless.
One June evening, when the orchards were pink-blossomed again, when the frogs were singing silverly sweet in the marshes about the head of the Lake of Shining Waters, and the air was full of the savor of clover fields and balsamic fir woods, Anne was sitting by her gable window. She had been studying her lessons, but it had grown too dark to see the book, so she had fallen into wide-eyed reverie, looking out past the boughs of the Snow Queen, once more bestarred with its tufts of blossom.
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Return to Shaoshan I regret the passing, the dying, of the vague dream: my native orchards thirty-two years ago. Yet red banners roused the serfs, who seized three-pronged lances when the warlords raised whips in their black hands. We were brave and sacrifice was easy and we asked the sun, the moon, to alter the sky. Now I see a thousand waves of beans and rice and am happy. In the evening haze heroes are coming home.
Something told the wild geese It was time to go. Though the fields lay golden Something whispered, "snow." Leaves were green and stirring, Berries, luster-glossed, But beneath warm feathers Something cautioned, "frost." All the sagging orchards Steamed with amber spice But each wild breast stiffened At remembered ice. Something told the wild geese It was time to fly- Summer sun was on their wings, Winter in their cry.
She wondered: How could people respond to these images if images didn't secretly enjoy the same status as real things? Not that images were so powerful, but that the world was so weak. It could be read, certainly, in its weakness, as on days when the sun baked fallen apples in orchards and the valley smelled like cider, and cold nights when Jordan had driven Chadds Ford for dinner and the tires of her Chevrolet had crunched on the gravel driveway; but the world was fungible only as images. Nothing got inside the head without becoming pictures.
I envision a day when every city and town has front and back yards, community gardens and growing spaces, nurtured into life by neighbors who are no longer strangers, but friends who delight in the edible rewards offered from a garden they discovered together. Imagine small strips of land between apartment buildings that have been turned into vegetable gardens, and urban orchards planted at schools and churches to grow food for our communities. The seeds of the urban farming movement already are growing within our reality.
A kind of wonder takes Chaucer over as he pants up Fleet Street and past the walled orchards and gardens of this lovely riverside suburb for princes of kingdom and Church. This isn't mob action, not really, even if there were men back there shouting that they were off to break into Newgate Jail and set the prisoners free. It's something else. Something he's never seen, or imagined. These men don't loot. They aren't trying to get rich, or even just get fed. They're not remotely interested in picking up a few unconsidered trifles from the palaces they're passing, however lovely the houses are, however manicured the gardens. They're here to destroy. And they know their targets.
Song of a Second April APRIL this year, not otherwise Than April of a year ago Is full of whispers, full of sighs, Dazzling mud and dingy snow; Hepaticas that pleased you so Are here again, and butterflies. There rings a hammering all day, And shingles lie about the doors; From orchards near and far away The gray wood-pecker taps and bores, And men are merry at their chores, And children earnest at their play. The larger streams run still and deep; Noisy and swift the small brooks run. Among the mullein stalks the sheep Go up the hillside in the sun Pensively; only you are gone, You that alone I cared to keep.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I lie down on many a station platform; I stand before many a soup kitchen; I squat on many a bench;-then at last the landscape becomes disturbing, mysterious, and familiar. It glides past the western windows with its villages, their thatched roofs like caps, pulled over the white-washed, half-timbered houses, its corn-fields, gleaming like mother-of-pearl in the slanting light, its orchards, its barns and old lime trees. The names of the stations begin to take on meaning and my heart trembles. The train stamps and stamps onward. I stand at the window and hold on to the frame. These names mark the boundaries of my youth.
Erich Maria Remarque
Dictionopolis is the place where all the words in the world come from. They're grown right here in our orchards." "I didn't know that words grew on trees, " said Milo timidly. "Where did you think they grew?" shouted the earl irritably. A small crowd began to gather to see the little boy who didn't know that letters grew on trees. "I didn't know they grew at all, " admitted Milo even more timidly. Several people shook their heads sadly. "Well, money doesn't grow on trees, does it?" demanded the count. "I've heard not, " said Milo. "Then something must. Why not words?" exclaimed the undersecretary triumphantly. The crowd cheered his display of logic and continued about its business.
The phrase and the day and the scene harmonized in a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed them to glow and fade, hue after hue: sunrise gold, the russet and green of apple orchards, azure of waves, the greyfringed fleece of clouds. No it was not their colours: it was the poise and balance of the period itself. Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words better than their associations of legend and colour? Or was it that, being as weak of sight as he was shy of mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the glowing sensible world through the prism of a language manycoloured and richly storied than from the contemplation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose?
It is but another instance of injustice, Fray Felipe said. For twenty years we, of the missions, have been subjected to it, and it grows. The sainted Junipero Serra invaded this land when other men feared, and at San Diego de Alcala he built the first mission of what became a chain, thus giving an empire to the world. Our mistake was that we prospered. We did the work, and others reap the advantages. They began taking out mission-lands from us, lands we had cultivated, which had formed a wilderness and which my brothers had turned into gardens and orchards. They robbed us of worldly goods. And not content with that they now are persecuting us. The mission-empire is doomed, caballero. The time is not far distant when mission roofs will fall in and walls crumble away. Some day people will look at the ruins and wonder how such a thing could come to pass.
Up before sunrise. Marjorie hated getting out of bed in the dark, but loved the payoff once she was dressed and rolling down the country roads in the first light, cruising and owning them almost alone. The countryside here used to be a lot more interesting, though. She remembered it in her girlhood - orchards, small ranches, farmhouses, each one of these houses a distinct personality... Money, she thought wryly, scanning the endless miles of grapevines, all identically wired and braced and drip-lined, mile after mile - money was such a powerful organizer. As the dawn light gained strength, and bathed the endless vines in tarnished silver, it struck her that there was, after all, something scary about money, that it could run loose in the world like a mythic monster, gobbling up houses and trees, serving strictly its own monstrous appetite. ("The Growlimb")
In the Garden story, good and evil are found on the same tree, not in separate orchards. Good and evil give meaning and definition to each other. If God, like us, is susceptible to immense pain, He is, like us, the greater in His capacity for happiness. The presence of such pain serves the larger purpose of God's master plan, which is to maximize the capacity for joy, or in other words, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." He can no more foster those ends in the absence of suffering and evil than one could find the traction to run or the breath to sing in the vacuum of space. God does not instigate pain or suffering, but He can weave it into His purposes. "God's power rests not on totalizing omnipotence, but on His ability to alchemize suffering, tragedy, and loss into wisdom, understanding, and joy.
Terryl L. Givens
And in front of it all are the pearly gates: the proverbial entrance to Heaven that she, in earthly life, thought might not exist. But they are real, not myth or fantasy. As she passes through them, several people greet her. In foreign tongues even, but she understands. Language no longer matter. There are no barriers between herself and others, just love. The gorgeous views seem to go on forever. Ornate structures, mansions, banquet halls, and natural beauty, orchards, gardens. People congregate around huge marble fountains. In the distance are snow-capped mountains of the purist white. She can hear the sounds of rushing rivers and the surf of the ocean at once. Everyone around her is happy, loving, thankful. A choir sings songs of joy and peace while others play musical instruments of every kind in perfect harmony. Children laugh and play in the streets as well as in the clouds above her head.
The river of his youth had been diverted and poured out broadly across the land to seep through dirt to the roots of crops instead of running in its bed. The river was no longer a river, and the desert was no longer a desert. Nothing was as it had been. He knew what had happened to the sagelands. He himself had helped burn them. Then men like his father had seized the river without a trace of evil in their hearts, sure of themselves but ignorant, and children of their time entirely, with no other bearings to rely on. Irrigators and fruit-tree growers, they believed the river to be theirs. His own life spanned that time and this, and so he believed in the old fast river as much as he believed in apple orchards, and yet he saw that the two were at odds, the river defeated that apples might grow as far as Royal Slope. It made no more sense to love the river and at the same time kill it growing apples than it made sense to love small birds on the wing and shoot them over pointing dogs. But he'd come into the world in another time, a time immune to these contradictions and in the end he couldn't shake old ways any more than he could shake his name.
When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw 'the tree with the lights in it.' It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker creek and thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing that like being for the first time see, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I'm still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells un-flamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.
I'm going home to an old country farmhouse, once green, rather faded now, set among leafless apple orchards. There is a brook below and a December fir wood beyond, where I've heard harps swept by the fingers of rain and wind. There is a pond nearby that will be gray and brooding now. There will be two oldish ladies in the house, one tall and thin, one short and fat; and there will be two twins, one a perfect model, the other what Mrs. Lynde calls a 'holy terror.' There will be a little room upstairs over the porch, where old dreams hang thick, and a big, fat, glorious feather bed which will almost seem the height of luxury after a boardinghouse mattress. How do you like my picture, Phil?" "It seems a very dull one, " said Phil, with a grimace. "Oh, but I've left out the transforming thing, " said Anne softly. "There'll be love there, Phil-faithful, tender love, such as I'll never find anywhere else in the world-love that's waiting for me. That makes my picture a masterpiece, doesn't it, even if the colors are not very brilliant?" Phil silently got up, tossed her box of chocolates away, went up to Anne, and put her arms about her. "Anne, I wish I was like you, " she said soberly.
We drove 22 miles into the country around Farmington. There were meadows and apple orchards. White fences trailed through the rolling fields. Soon the sign started appearing. THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA. We counted five signs before we reached the site. There were 40 cars and a tour bus in the makeshift lot. We walked along a cowpath to the slightly elevated spot set aside for viewing and photographing. All the people had cameras; some had tripods, telephoto lenses, filter kits. A man in a booth sold postcards and slides - pictures of the barn taken from the elevated spot. We stood near a grove of trees and watched the photographers. Murray maintained a prolonged silence, occasionally scrawling some notes in a little book. "No one sees the barn, " he said finally. A long silence followed. "Once you've seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn." He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced by others. We're not here to capture an image, we're here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies." There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides. "Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We've agreed to be part of a collective perception. It literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism." Another silence ensued. "They are taking pictures of taking pictures, " he said.
In a city it's impossible to forget we live in places raised and built over time itself. The past is underneath our feet. Every day when I leave the house , I may walk over a place where a king killed a wolf in the Royal Forest of Stocket, one of the medieval hunting forests , where alder and birch , oak and hazel, willow, cherry and aspen grew. The living trees were cut down , their wood used to fuel the city's growth , it's trade, it's life.The ancient wood , preserved in peat, was found underneath the city(The site of the killing is fairly well buried -the wolf and the king had their encounter some time around the early years of the eleventh century)It's the same as in any other city, built up and over and round , ancient woodlands cut down , bogs drained , watercourses altered, a landscape rendered almost untraceable, vanished.Here, there's a history of 8, 000 years of habitation , the evidence in excavated fish hooks and fish bone reliquaries, in Bronze Age grave-goods of arrowheads and beakers, what's still under the surface, in revenants and ghosts of gardens , of doo'cots and orchards, of middens and piggeries, plague remains and witch-hunts, of Franciscans and Carmelites, their friaries buried , over-taken by time and stone.This is a stonemasons' city , a city of weavers and gardeners and shipwrights and where I walk , there was once a Maison Dieu, a leper house; there was song schools and sewing schools, correction houses and tollboths, hidden under layers of time, still there
And you can glance out the window for a moment, distracted by the sound of small kids playing a made-up game in a neighbor's yard, some kind of kickball maybe, and they speak in your voice, or piggyback races on the weedy lawn, and it's your voice you hear, essentially, under the glimmerglass sky, and you look at the things in the room, offscreen, unwebbed, the tissued grain of the deskwood alive in light, the thick lived tenor of things, the argument of things to be seen and eaten, the apple core going sepia in the lunch tray, and the dense measures of experience in a random glance, the monk's candle reflected in the slope of the phone, hours marked in Roman numerals, and the glaze of the wax, and the curl of the braided wick, and the chipped rim of the mug that holds your yellow pencils, skewed all crazy, and the plied lives of the simplest surface, the slabbed butter melting on the crumbled bun, and the yellow of the yellow of the pencils, and you try to imagine the word on the screen becoming a thing in the world, taking all its meanings, its sense of serenities and contentments out into the streets somehow, its whisper of reconciliation, a word extending itself ever outward, the tone of agreement or treaty, the tone of repose, the sense of mollifying silence, the tone of hail and farewell, a word that carries the sunlit ardor of an object deep in drenching noon, the argument of binding touch, but it's only a sequence of pulses on a dullish screen and all it can do is make you pensive-a word that spreads a longing through the raw sprawl of the city and out across the dreaming bournes and orchards to the solitary hills. Peace.
And at night the river flows, it bears pale stars on the holy water, some sink like veils, some show like fish, the great moon that once was rose now high like a blazing milk flails its white reflection vertical and deep in the dark surgey mass wall river's grinding bed push. As in a sad dream, under the streetlamp, by pocky unpaved holes in dirt, the father James Cassidy comes home with lunchpail and lantern, limping, redfaced, and turns in for supper and sleep. Now a door slams. The kids have rushed out for the last play, the mothers are planning and slamming in kitchens, you can hear it out in swish leaf orchards, on popcorn swings, in the million-foliaged sweet wafted night of sighs, songs, shushes. A thousand things up and down the street, deep, lovely, dangerous, aureating, breathing, throbbing like stars; a whistle, a faint yell; the flow of Lowell over rooftops beyond; the bark on the river, the wild goose of the night yakking, ducking in the sand and sparkle; the ululating lap and purl and lovely mystery on the shore, dark, always dark the river's cunning unseen lips, murmuring kisses, eating night, stealing sand, sneaky. 'Mag-gie!' the kids are calling under the railroad bridge where they've been swimming. The freight train still rumbles over a hundred cars long, the engine threw the flare on little white bathers, little Picasso horses of the night as dense and tragic in the gloom comes my soul looking for what was there that disappeared and left, lost, down a path-the gloom of love. Maggie, the girl I loved.