Apples get me thinking – about twenty years ago, I had flown to Boston  to meet my birth father and visit some of the places, historical and natural I’d longed for since moving to California.

I thought often of the places I’d been – Dixville Notch, Mt. Monadnock,  Franconia Notch, Kancamangus Highway.  I’d hike into the mountains with friends, telling Mom that I’d be staying at my girlfriend’s house for the weekend. Later, I’d go with adult friends, discovering new gems of the natural world.

Beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Old Man of the Mountain. It’s where I saw my first sundew plant growing naturally, at the base of one of the trails.  It’s where I slid down the natural granite rock formations flowing freely with cold water from the mountains, into a cold, deep pool. It’s where I hiked a portion of Mount Washington, and felt as if I was going to die.

before his demise

I recall entering Dixville Notch, NH, and passing a tent campground.  A sign perched in front, with the symbol we label as a swastika, however –  used for over 3,000 years to represent life, power, sun, strength and good luck.  I felt pleased that the symbol remained pure and loyal to it’s original meaning.

As important as meeting my birth father, was driving to Hollis, New Hampshire and buying Macoun apples.  I really REALLY like these apples!  I knew of only two orchards and I purchased a small bag of Macouns and left the next morning for California, with my prize!

This is one variety of five, that Mark planted for me here in Northern California.

The bag of Macoun apples were under my seat for the flight home.  They’re super crisp, sweet and tart, with a heavy skin.  Some folks think they’re similar to a Granny Smith.  They’ve got a purple hue to them and one of the few apples I’d eat more than one of, at a time.

A baby sat between her parents, nearby.  I heard her crying softly to them, repeating, “Apple. Apple.”    The baby didn’t see my small bag of apples, nor had I eaten one during the trip. In fact, I don’t think she could see me at all.

The begging continued, and I wondered of the frustration the parents felt at not being able to provide for the small, sweet request for an apple.  I reached under my seat, and turned toward the parents, who sat several seats behind and to my right.

“I have an apple.”  A beautiful Macoun apple cradled in my hand, I handed it to the father of the baby.  They didn’t say much, and it was okay with me.  I was happy to be a human being who could make a child of the world, happy.

Always pay attention.  Always help when you can. Always do something and do not hesitate.  One apple can make a difference between comfort and discomfort. It’s the little things, the love you can give, the small apple, which offers the meaning of life.

One apple provided me with comfort, as well. That day, it was easy to look in the mirror.