Impression: The Apple Orchard
All five of my senses remember the apple orchard that my family would go to every year. It was about twenty-five minutes from my house and the ride to the orchard was a beautiful one: littered with trees aflame in color, wide-open cornfields and cow pastures. We’d go past the place where I rode horses, past the biggest crossroad in Daegwan Ryung, and I’d keep looking for a little wood cutout in the shape of an apple: that was Daegwan Ryung Park.
Because there was a large hill as we came close, my brothers and I would see the park from a distance. That little red speck- that speck and nearing it, with us all in a frenzy- was an integral moment in my childhood.
Finally, when we did get to Daegwan Ryung apple farm, I intensely remember stepping out of our old Toyota Minivan. There was always an old, golden retriever in the parting lot, sitting just close enough to the barn not to get hit, but far away enough to catch the sunlight on a nice day.
The dog looked dead, but wasn’t- it lifted its head slowly as a new car rounded the corner into the parking lot. As we jumped out, we felt the temperature change, from warm and stuffy in the car to the cool, breezy outdoors of a fall day. It was just slightly cold enough to warrant sweaters, but after a lot of picking we’d get hot and take off our sweaters, inevitably getting chilled.
The apple farm was small compared to others. It consisted of a large barn, a garden and rows and rows of apple trees, stretching farther than we ever went. We’d get a pamphlet from an old woman saying which apples were good and which weren’t, and told not to eat the apples while we were picking; though we always did. Then, we’d take our bushel baskets, which already smelled like apples and plants, back to the car, get in, and find the perfect place to pick.
One of my brothers would scrutinize the trees, trying to find that perfect spot. Once he did, he’d shout, “There,” scaring us all and pushing and shaking whomever was driving. The van would halt and we’d park, tumble out, and start looking for the perfect apples in the perfect apple orchard. Other families were around, but we were serious pickers and couldn’t be bothered with “hellos” or cordialities. We’d split up. One of us would find a spot and go for the higher apples, the smallest of us scouring the bottoms of the trees for good ones. The bottoms of the trees smelled the richest- with discarded apples and bees swarming all around. And the apples were dissolved into a buzzing, sickeningly sweet mess. We’d have to watch where we step, lest we get a rotten apple, a handful of bees, or both.
Climbing up the ladder was my favorite. I’d climb this very high, very rickety ladder up to the top of the tree, with a helper (brother) at the bottom to collect all of the apples I’d pick. He’d have his bushel ready. My aim had to be pretty on. Because once the apple hit the ground, according to my brothers and me, it was unfit for consumption. At the top of the tree, I could feel the breeze and see the rolling, slight Gwanryung hills that were a patchwork of fields and pastures. I always felt like the tallest person in the world up there. I wanted desperately to fly, my feet brushing the tops of the brambly apple trees, and love the view.
Up on the ladder, I might get frightened (the ladder shook, to be sure, and was probably unsafe to be climbing on, but the orchard kept them for years, anyway) but I’d have the leaves and branches to hold onto. After climbing up the tree, my hands would smell leafy, and they’d be sticky from holding so tight to the leaves and the branches themselves. Up at the top of the tree I’d hear only the rustling of the leaves, sometimes a distant tractor or a shout of people from below. Still, it felt solitary, until I were ready to go back down, having picked the best off of the top of the tree.
Cite this Impression: The Apple Orchard
Impression: The Apple Orchard. (2016, Oct 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/impression-the-apple-orchard/