Yesterday I celebrated Labor Day by laboring to bring in the harvest. It’s apple season in the Pacific Northwest and this year’s crop is incredible. I am honestly surprised at the abundance because over the winter I took the advice of an arborist and eliminated nearly half of the main branches on our apple tree. The fruit needs airflow to develop properly and our branches were too close together. I did a lot of second guessing as I followed his advice, but I am doubting no longer.
The amount of fruit is clearly greater this year, even with the heavy pruning, and it is far greater quality. The task yesterday was a harvester’s dream. Half the picking could be done from the ground as the heavy branches bent low, begging to be relieved of their burden. I called it a mercy picking, and I could almost hear the branches thanking me. Sadly, a few of the branches had already broken under the weight, which could have been prevented if I had thinned the fruit. In many places the there were so many apples on the branch they looked like grape clusters.
I picked for six hours, boxing up several hundred pounds of apples, and there is almost that much still waiting to be picked! Every time I thought I was finished, I would spot another branch I had missed. I was laughing at the abundance, with a feeling of giddiness at being so apple rich.
Just think: All this fruit came from one apple seed. I long to be a person, and for Evergreen to be a church, whose life is similarly fruitful.
“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:8-9)