Today the family and I threw caution to the wind and went out to do something new: picking persimmon from a nearby orchard. This was the first time Reiko and the boy had the opportunity to do this and the weather really couldn’t have been better. Blue skies above. Relatively warm temperatures in the sun. A breeze that carried a light fragrance of the fruit trees and nearby mountain. One really couldn’t ask for a better Saturday.
A friend of mine and I worked at an Apple orchard while in high school. The trees belonged to the shop teacher, Mr. Castle1, and he would often hire students to come pick several thousand apples over the course of a couple days. Most of these apples were destined for ciders, and the most appealing were generally given away as gifts. This was hard work. Much harder than one would expect. However, the work was also incredibly enjoyable. We worked outside in the clean air while joking around and filling baskets with fruit. Come dinner time, Mr. Castle would fire up the barbecue and we’d all feast on burgers, hot dogs, potatoes, and corn. It was a time of carefree bliss.
Today reminded me of this simpler time.
After a little picnic, the boy couldn’t wait to run around the large lawn, laughing and singing the whole time. Reiko and I got in on the fun while other families watched as we played around like a bunch of children.
Having the luxury of these simple pleasures makes the difficulties of adult life easier to bear. I often wish the boy were “just a bit older” so that he’d be more independent and able to do things himself but, at the same time, I want to enjoy this innocent time in his life.
Mr. Castle was one of the most encouraging teachers I’ve had the privilege to know. He bent a number of rules to give students opportunities and I can safely say that because I could take advantage of this, I was able to explore my passion for computers before they were generally available to families.