I look forward to our annual trip to the apple orchard more than almost anything else in life. Every year, I temporarily convince myself that I'd love to own and operate an apple farm of my own, if only for the promise of unlimited mulled cider and a true bounty worth of seasonal fruit.
After an afternoon of walking, climbing, picking and hauling, I am reminded that I don't really love dirt, sweat or any form of manual labor for more than a few hours at a time. A lousy farmer I would make.
It's one of those dreams that percolates. When I picture the life I hope to build for my family, I imagine my children running barefoot through wildflower fields. I want them to recognize and appreciate the transcendent taste of a freshly-plucked September apple.
I don't know where we'll end up or the environment in which we'll raise our children. But, I know that we create the lives we lead based on dreams that maturate inside our very core. With every autumnal visit to the orchard, I remember where my dreams begin. And that's something.
(This year, we went to Masker Orchards in Warwick, New York. Highly recommended if you enjoy breath-taking valley views, acre upon acre of tree variety, and a country store packed to the brim with every apple product imaginable).