Fall Inspiration: Apples + Spiritual Reflections

Apples and autumn are best friends where I come from, and here in Northern Illinois, their deliciousness is celebrated reverently across the prairie heartland where harvested varieties such as Sansa, Blondee, Jonagold, and Cameo mingle with familiar Gala and Courtlands.

I fondly recall past Septembers, chaperoning field trips with my sons’ kindergarten classmates to our local apple orchard. There we enjoyed hayrides and learned to pluck an apple from the tree branch properly (a gentle twist!), observing with wonder how they were so carefully inspected and sorted…some for eating, some to be pressed into cider.

You may be surprised to learn the exotic history of the simple apples we take for granted and devour in autumn. The apple’s origin can be traced to the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan (which borders Russia and China) millions of years ago. While humans have been eating apples for thousands of years, in America, it was settlers at Jamestown in 1607, who began harvesting apples for cider. Apples were bitter and for drinking, not eating…the sweet apples we enjoy in America today were not yet born. (source)

My favorite apple variety to eat is Honeycrisp, and my favorite for baking a yummy crisp? Good ol’ Granny Smiths. If apple pies are your jam, consider Country Living’s 35 delectable apple pie recipes.

Beyond eating apples, I love how apples beautifully lend themselves to fall decor and holiday decor, whether they are massed in a wooden bowl for a vibrant pop of color or partially hollowed to form a votive candle holder. My personal favorite apple craft as a child involved carving a peeled apple into a face and watching it dry up, shrink and shrivel daily…it was maybe one of those odd, psychedelic, flower children, ’70s things!

And here’s the part of the post intending to celebrate the gorgeous fall season of beautiful apples where things take a gentle, tender stream of consciousness turn which may have precious little to do with apples…or everything.

I am navigating a season of personal pain, the variety of which I cannot speak about publicly (always tricky for a writer who desires to preserve relationships, not sever them). A season with problems which are very real, meaning one can’t throw money at them and watch them disappear.

At this very moment, I am contemplating what it means to live within the reality of such pain, wide awake and sober, and to carry all the accompanying paradox and sorrow in my heart with some dignity, with some maturity, and with kindness.

This post got me thinking. What if my present pain, like an exquisite harvest apple, can be pierced to reveal seeds of hope resting inside? What might happen if instead of ignoring the seeds within (it’s easy to go seed-blind, repress, or choose numbed-out, hard cider sleepwalking), I see them, honor them and somehow surrender my spirit to be drenched in the sacred cider of fruitfulness to come?

Golden apples photographed artfully by Joan Marie and Co.
Gorgeous photograph by Joan Marie and Co. which hangs in our home

The waiting is agonizing, yet I am choosing to see the seeds today.

The waiting is only the middle part of the story, right? I don’t want to grow bitter like the apples of early 17th Century Jamestown. I long to find my sweet center of gravity and align with the Source and true Reality who whispers: you are my beloved; the apple of  my eye.

If you are the type who prays, will you pray for me? There was a time I felt much too full of ego and pride to request it, but no more…this I know: the prayers of others are always, always, healing. Prayer is the deepest form of relationship, opening a door into a mysterious and lighter realm where the impossible vanishes. The mechanics of it…who can explain them with language?

Maybe prayer works like a loving gardener who tends the seeds planted in the fertile soil of our being, where faith and hope may grow into the shelter of a blossoming apple tree.

* * *

I hope these images of fall apple beauty and bounty nurture your soul in a peaceful, life-giving way and usher you into autumnal grace.

Early Beauty apples in wood crates by Hello Lovely Studio
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio
Give like the sun inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio
Ginger gold apples in wood box by Hello Lovely Studio
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio
Beautiful Paris hotel room with apples on table by Hello Lovely Studio
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio

Where is your heart taking you this fall day?

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. Susan
    September 23, 2017 / 2:47 am

    Dear Michele, I am so sorry to read your post today and please be assured that your readers’ prayers are with you. Posts like yours have helped me through a most difficult time and I do fervently believe that the comments readers post help us all feel that friendship is there and that we are part of a like minded community which we have chosen to be part of. God bless you. Thinking of you.

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Thank you for the encouragement and loving kindness, friend. It helps to feel joined. Peace to you.

  2. September 23, 2017 / 5:39 am

    Dear Michele – whatever your pain or deep angst, please know that I stand beside you in whatever apple seed fashion you may be seeking. Heartfelt and deepest prayers are magical and I share mine for you. Stay strong gentle warrior and hold on tight to hope. We will help as you walk this autumn path…..

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

      Your loving kindness lifts my spirit. Thank you, friend. xox

  3. suzanne
    September 23, 2017 / 5:48 am


    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

      Peace to you, Suzanne.

  4. Patricia Cairns
    September 23, 2017 / 6:10 am

    Hi Michele, thank you so much for your beautiful posts. I’m so sorry you’re in such pain and I will certainly pray for you. God bless you and yours. Pat, Scotland

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:16 am

      Thank you for your prayer, Pat. I’m so thankful and believe it matters.

  5. Marilyn S.
    September 23, 2017 / 6:34 am

    I said a prayer for you today.

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:15 am

      I’m so grateful, Marilyn. Thank you.

  6. Susan
    September 23, 2017 / 7:18 am

    Praying for that peace which passes all understanding for you.

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Thank you, Susan. I am leaning into that peace.

  7. Mimi
    September 23, 2017 / 7:27 am

    Gorgeous pins! Prayers for you, a special blogger with lovely taste.
    All your attention on wellness and gratitude will bring you in alignment that which you seek. Contradictory thoughts split the energy and foggy up the path. There is an abundance of wellness in your future!

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Thanks for the prayer and for the beauty you have added here, Mimi. Peace to you.

  8. September 23, 2017 / 8:33 am

    I am sorry for your pain. I hope it all works out the way that you want. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I love all of the beautiful apple images.

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Thanks so much for the comfort, Elizabeth. xox

  9. Judy mearing
    September 23, 2017 / 9:07 am

    Praying for you, may he give you peace.

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:13 am

      thank you, Judy. I’m grateful.

  10. September 23, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Hi Michele, Thanks for this beautiful and inspiring post. Your words are magical, you have such a gift! I prayed for you and I know that He will give you all that you need❤️

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Thank you for lifting me in prayer. Trusting. xox

  11. Teresea
    September 23, 2017 / 9:57 am

    Prayed for you today; that God will meet you at your point of need.

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 10:15 am

      Thanks so much, Teresa. Trusting.

  12. janice mcguire
    September 23, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Sending prayers and positive affirmations your way. Your eye and love of beauty brings joy to all that read your blog each day. Thank you for sharing your extraordinary talents!

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 10:14 am

      I’m so grateful. Thanks for reading, Janice.

  13. holly
    September 23, 2017 / 10:15 am

    sending loving hugs out to you and know that whatever feels like it’s not working, eventually will. it is the beauty of the wisdom and balance She provides. Namaste~

    • michele
      September 23, 2017 / 12:26 pm

      Thanks for blessing me. Peace to you, Holly.

  14. September 24, 2017 / 11:00 am

    Your post is simply lovely!… Fall is the colors season, let’s make the best of it, inside and outside!

    • michele
      September 24, 2017 / 11:07 am

      🙂 thanks for reading.

  15. Donna C.
    September 24, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    Praying for peace dear friend!

    • michele
      September 24, 2017 / 2:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Donna. Peace to you.

  16. Mary Ann Falci
    September 24, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Praying for you and hope you find peace.

    • michele
      September 24, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      Thank you so much, Mary Ann. Peace to you.

  17. Rhonda
    September 25, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    Michele, my favorite saying is “this too shall pass”….whatever is weighing heavy on your heart will pass. With all our prayers, God will surely answer. I truly believe in that power. Peace, love, and strength to you.

    • michele
      September 25, 2017 / 3:04 pm

      So true and so lovely. Thanks, Rhonda. xox

  18. Tracy
    September 25, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Prayers to the Highest Michelle.

    • michele
      September 25, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Thanks from the bottom of my heart. xox

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