We went apple picking with friends today. There were only a few apples left on the trees. The puddles in the lane had a thin cover of ice on them. The noise from a tractor just over the hill, combined with the smell of apples rotting in the field, and the cold, fresh air with the sun casting long shadows through the orchard was a moment I wanted to capture and hold on to. There is something magical about the Honeycrisp apple. Grown in Ontario and best from mid-October to early November, it is an apple like no other — it tastes like honey mixed with fresh morning dew.
The sound of classical music on a Sunday morning brings balance to the day. It has a way of explaining life with all the tragedy, chaos, love, and heartache that make humanity so beautiful. Today, Sibelius’ String Quartets pull me into his story; it is a tale of life, filled with frivolity, sorrow, happiness, and ambition. A young violin flirts with life while her older and wiser companions watch. They smile in memory of youth untouched by sorrow, nodding and following as life pushes and pulls the young woman to maturity. She remains brave through tragedy and sorrow; growing stronger, she encounters beauty and love, experience begins to shape her, adding depth and edge, but her voice never loses hope and the desire to add to the world around her. Do I read too much of my own thoughts in the music?
I met an old friend today who is one of those people who seems to get better with age. He’s done very well for himself and has grown from a mid-sized company to a very large business. I find myself studying him, wanting to discover how he does things, and how he’s become so successful. He is one part connector, one part achiever (with a huge drive to succeed). But there is also a part of him that wants, like the rest of us, to matter. He gives much of his time to charity. As well, he tells me that he loves to gamble and is pulled by the immediate gratification of the instant win-or-lose situation. He is a risk taker with very good judgment. If he were music he would be Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 because he is a man who seems to celebrate all that life has to offer.
Having closed up the cottage for the winter, we are back to spending most weekends renovating our home. We bought this old house six years ago and every winter we try to tackle a few rooms. Today, we finished the kitchen and I’m suddenly feeling nostalgic. I remember coming home from work to find our newborn son asleep in his car seat on the kitchen table, and my husband making dinner, with his customary glass of wine and notepad beside it on the counter. I remember our two boys playing hide-and-seek with the littlest hiding in the kitchen cupboard, giggles giving his presence away the minute I walked into the room.
Old houses are like people — they weather and are changed by time, and by those who have touched them.
Sarah Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org