Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Day of Yes

     The wildflowers along the interstate applauded my journey 
north. The brilliant yellow and fiery red blooms, gathered in 
patches along the way, cheered me on.

     I took Highway 25 from Greenville and headed toward Bat 
Cave and Hendersonville. I dreamed I was perched in a top-down 
convertible, shifting gears as I climbed through the Blue Ridge 
Mountains. Nevermind the fact that I had the air cranked up in my 
4Runner as I added more miles to the 192,000 already traveled 
behind the wheel.

     I reached the exit in record time. Perhaps it was because I was 
alone and not putting out fires of discontent on the way. This was 
my first trip apple picking without one or both of my boys in tow. I 
missed having them with me, but a new, stronger part of me, urged 
me on.

     The annual apple-picking trip in the fall represented a whole of 
afternoon of yes when the boys were with me:
  • Yes we can eat apples as we go.
  • Yes you can pick as many as you want.
  • Yes we can buy apple cider too, and apple fritters, and apple anything you want.
  • Yes we can eat dinner at Sonic and get ice cream for the drive home.

     Saying yes always makes for blissful times as a parent.

 But we all know that there is a whole world of no when it comes 
to raising kids. The days of yes come few and far between.

     As I walked along the rows of early Fuji’s and Galas filling a 
half-bushel basket, I thought about the days of waiting for 
moments just like this one. I pushed away the melancholy of not 
having my boys with me and reveled in being alone. There were so 
many times I dreamed of taking half-day trips alone when I was 
knee-deep in travel ball and music lessons. I sat on the sidelines 
and in parking lots waiting for what seemed like an eternity at 

     I didn’t miss holding my breath as the boys climbed to the top 
of the trees for the apple on the top limb. I could stop and take 
pictures wherever I wanted. I didn’t have to wander down every 
row so it didn’t take me near as long to fill my little basket.

     I found joy in the solitude. I found a sweet spot saying yes to me.

     We get to this point in life ready or not. We sit even further 
away on the sidelines as we watch our children grow up. We have 
to make a choice whether we will say yes or no to the dreams we 
stowed away in our hearts while we made sandwiches and         
Kool-Aid. I’m glad I said yes to picking apples alone.

     Today’s half-day trips may well turn into weekends away 
tomorrow and new dreams and goals. And the taste of that is as sweet as biting into a just-picked North Carolina apple on a Saturday at the end of summer.

     Life’s a journey. Pay attention. 

1 comment:

  1. Krista, did you know that I have two boys too? We sent the oldest off to college this year and our youngest is so busy with marching band that it already feels like and empty nest at home. I got a little teary reading this. It's a lovely reflection on that sneaky thing called time. Thanks for sharing it with me :)