Cold winds blew again the glass beside me, whistling against the steel frame of the little building. The Boyfriend came and placed a mug on the table before me, then left to wait for his own drink. I pulled the caramel colored mug toward me and stirred its contents with the small silver spoon. Soon, the warming scent of cinnamon and the lush smell of crisp apple met my nose and I felt the tension in my jaw lessen. I closed my eyes and breathed deep the scents of autumn, letting it soothe my nerves and calm my senses.
Last fall, I wrote briefly on my love for apples after a visit to my favorite orchard, about an hour away from my apartment. Since then, I have pondered longer and harder on the symbolism of apples and their importance to me and to my path. But as I attempted to write this entry last Friday, the words fell flat. It was only today as I sat in the tiny cafe with my fingers wrapped around a small mud of cider that I recalled the power of apples.
I mentioned before that apples are sacred to me, but saying so and experiencing it are two different things. Since August, we have not gone a week without a pint of cider in the fridge. I’ve warmed it on the stove, letting its rich scent cascade through our small apartment with fresh cinnamon tracing its way through my memory, alighting neurons with pleasant recollection. I braised a shoulder of pork in my slow cooker with warm cider, apples, and apple cider vinegar last October, a delicious experiment that I hope to repeat soon. Since last fall, I have spent much time lusting over apples, indulging in pie more in the last few months than I have in the first twenty-four years of my life. (I don’t even really like pie, preferring cake in most cases.) And each mug of cider, each slice of apple that crossed my lips, brought me a little closer to an inner peace and calm that I hadn’t known for awhile.
For the last five weeks, I have felt very little in the way of spirituality or my gods. It worries me some, but I have been through this before. Still, as I sat there in a little cafe with the cold winds of winter blowing around me, a warm mug in my hand, I smiled and knew a calm that I had only known on rare occasions with my gods.