Last week, when I thought about starting this blog and then realized that I had zero time, I was in the middle of my usual late-summer lunchtime routine, which involves riding the fix over to the Whole Foods store and grabbing a few simple things. Friday's episode of lunch involved two veggie spring rolls and two apples. Normally not a while lot to write home about, the Whole Foods version of both of these were particularly spectacular; either I was really hungry, or they truly WERE excellent.
For those of you that are NOT really 'crunchy' people, you're missing out - as I was. This was only the second or third time that I'd purposely chosen fruit as part of my lunch. Let's see: I've been all over the board, with slim-fast style stuff, ramen noodles, and other random junk here and there, but never fruit. So, I had an apple - big deal? It seemed like it at the time, but it brought to mind all sorts of things, metaphoric and significant all at once. And, for the first time in a long time, the thoughts were recorded in my mind and I was inspired to write again.
These little red-delicious apples were from Colorado (my favorite state, probably, for a ton of reasons) and were organically grown. They didn't look like much on the rack -- not shiny, not large -- not like the usual grocery store fodder, that's for sure. Still, I grabbed a couple of the better looking ones and headed for the checkout. (a few of the better looking ones, you notice, as I like most others tend to judge apples by their skin, to my discredit) There are a dozen or so metaphors I can pull from here, with regards to how the shiny, mass-produced and waxed commercially-grown and engineered fruits look so appealing, but once you dive inside they leave a lot to be desired? I won't be so trite as to bore you with that dreck, however -- we all know it's true.
After riding back over to work, I grabbed a park bench close to the fake lake, sat down, and took out one of the apples. "Sad looking little bugger", I thought to myself, and took a bite. DANG! This was probably the BEST APPLE I'd ever eaten, seriously. It was crisp, and there was so much juice it was nearly obscene. Flavor was perfect, texture outstanding. Ok, ok,ok -- why such fuss over an apple? It reminded me of so many things, all of which came washing over me in an instant -- fall. The way it tasted, combined with the cool, upper-50º air, the slight nip to the breeze, the wind in the trees that day, the small waves on the lake -- this apple completed a perfect picture of fall in my head as I let each sumptuous bite linger in my mouth. Even the sound of the apple's skin breaking between my teeth and that first sucking sound as the juice squirts over your tongue and palette -- ugh, sheer heaven.
Don't tell ME I take taste for granted -- yeesh, this was overpowering, and it punctuated the fact that all around me, my favorite season was coming into it's own. There is something beautiful about fall, which is why it's my favorite, tied closely with early spring. The first bite of Canadian air, long sleeves coming back out, jeans, boots, fenders on the bike again, and the way the sky and trees seem to come alive -- the heat of summer is gone, and like an apple that's been baked just right, the long session of heating has left it darker; bronzed and full of flavor -- summer's oven has left behind a masterpiece of flavor, color, and sensation.
As I finished off the last of the apple, I smiled to myself and took perhaps the deepest breath I'd taken in weeks - relaxed. The park bench, the sky, the apple, the rustle of leaves not yet fallen -- I was at peace for one short moment, even during an otherwise busy workday.
I mounted my fix, and took a lap around the lake for good measure, and took my time heading back upstairs to my box. Sometimes all it takes is an apple to unplug a little bit. I highly recommend it. Yeah, it's only Monday back here in reality, but I went over there again on lunch and got a few more apples. If you find something that gives you that kind of feeling, you tend to hang onto it, ya know? Kind of like riding a bike.
Oh yeah -- updates on a few other things -- the MS-150 2005 writeup will likely be posted on the website with it's own page, similar to previous years, so stay tuned for that action -- part of the reason I started this blog was to have a place to more readily record thoughts, give quick updates, vent, rant, whatever comes to mind -- it will NOT neccessarily replace the actual commuterdude.com webpage -- at least not in the forseeable future. So, please check back there often -- it's still the main source, baby!
Ride on. [/<(-]