Apples 1

Autumn is here in New Zealand Aotearoa and Mother’s Day has just passed. Pumpkins and apples are being harvested in the lingering warmth of May.

 

The benevolence of the season has prompted me to give you an excerpt from my prize-winning book ‘A Cup of Sunlight: discovering the sacred in everyday life.’

 

It’s from Chapter 8: Tasting

 

‘Why is it so different, I wondered, when I cut an apple into quarters before eating it, from biting into a whole apple with no preparation? Why do these little quarters give me such pleasure?

 

Apple slices

 

Partly it’s to do with memory. I relive the comfort of my mother’s care, when she cut toast into fingers or apples into perky white “boats”, as she called them. They sailed across the creamy sea of my plate to explore imaginary countries. They lifted their prows into the unknown. They sailed unsuspectingly until caught by my slender fingers and crunched between my new “second” teeth.

 

It seemed she had a special touch, as with a few deft strokes of a knife she opened up such sweet flesh from inside a plain apple. In those days all fruit was organic and the exterior of an apple was usually dimpled and tucked into rough pockets. Inside, however, it was surprisingly pristine, sweating with drops of juice as if excited to be seen.

 

My mother, with two angle cuts, would remove the pips and scratchy bits from the centre, presenting four neat quarters, each sharply notched in the middle.

 

apple slices 2

 

Now, when I see apples that have been freshly sliced, or mandarins and oranges newly segmented, I find my hand reaching for them with zest, reaching not only for food, but for the “X factor” of special attention. I wake up; I become mindful; I receive not just physical food but the energy of life and love.’

 

What are your childhood memories of lovingly prepared food and special tastes? Do leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

 

You can find A Cup of Sunlight on this webpage: http://www.julietbatten.co.nz/…/cup-sunlight-discovering-s…/