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Apple Wassail

It's our wassail, jolly wassail!
Joy come to our jolly wassail!
How well they may bloom, how well they may bear
So we may have apples and cider next year.



Inspired by the Tullyport Christmas stories from Sparkle Stories and our love of apples, we wassailed the trees yesterday.  Since our story had coincided with Lammas Ull, I made the quiet decision to do it with the children when everyone woke up.  It was interesting timing, all of it.  A neighbor had just shown up with a big tub of a popcorn as a thank you for lending her the apple picker back in the Summer.  With a cup or so of cider left, we set out after quiet time, just as the sky was beginning to turn pink.  Since most of the trees belonged to Don, we didn't have a way of knowing which one was the oldest.  Not wanting to leave any out, we did all the trees, including our own Arkansas Black, and there was enough to go around!  Our tree has grown so much in the past year that we may well have apples from it this Summer.

There are lots of reasons and thoughts behind these rituals, some more acceptable or palatable than others.  For me, for our family, it is about connecting ourselves with others around the world and in the past.  It reminds us that we are all in this together.  It's also a way of really saying "thank you" for the ways that food is provided to us throughout the year.  Becoming a sort of substitute orchardist and gardener to the Roland's trees and berries has been a tremendous blessing.  We eat better all year long because of those plants.  Their efforts would be squandered even moreso, otherwise, and I do believe they have responded favorably to being looked after.

In the Spiral

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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