Every fall, I get this urge to go apple picking. It’s something the fall does to me. Fall = pretty leaves + apple pie. Apple picking combines appreciating the beautiful colors of the trees while also checking the first item off the ingredients list. You can’t really fail.
But the last time I actually went apple picking was in the first grade, maybe. I might’ve ditched school on the day of the trip. You know how it is. This year though, the desire to go pluck a fruit off a tree was fulfilled. It was a pretty big moment for me.
See, my dad always brings stuff inside the house from his garden outside. I hardly go into the garden. I can’t really navigate myself there—what’s alive? what isn’t?—neither of my thumbs are close to green. But this past weekend, my uncle visited and wanted to pick some pears off our pear tree. My mom suggested I accompany him since my dad wasn’t home, and so I joined him for the entire ten steps it takes to get to the tree in my backyard.
That’s when I realized, whoa. We have a pear tree. Like, there are actual pretty pears on this tree. I knew before too…but it’s just different seeing the pears growing on the tree than cut up in a kitchen bowl, you know?
My uncle was super excited and started picking a bunch off. Later my aunt joined us. They had the most adorable time filling up a bunch of bags to take home and distribute among their neighbors and friends.
I went back out a while after they left to pick a few myself so I could bake something to satisfy my sweet tooth. As I tried to fix my eye on a pear within reach, I saw a leaf gracefully fall to the ground.
“With Him are the keys of the Unseen. No one knows them but He. He knows what is in the land and the sea. No leaf ever falls but that He knows about it, and there is no grain in the dark layers of the earth, or anything fresh or dry that is not recorded in a manifest book.” [Quran, 6:59]
There I was, standing before a tree that existed in my backyard for as long as I could remember. A tree that my basketball would roll under every time I missed a shot. My cousin and I would “nose goes” to see who’d have to fetch the ball by the tree with the bees. For years, I didn’t give that tree a second look or care for the fruits it provided. I sat inside my house as decades of autumns passed, countless leaves fell without my knowledge.
But when that one leaf fell on Saturday, it caught my eye. As I watched it make its way to the ground, it hit me. Allah made that little leaf fall. He knew exactly when and how it’d fall, and who would see it. He’s the One who knows when every single leaf on this planet parts ways with its branch. Not one person would care to keep track of something so normal, so overlooked.
God. Wow. You’re Amazing. My tiny brain can’t even begin to comprehend.
I took the pears inside and I started to wash and peel them. My dad was home by then and of course showed me the proper way to wash it. There were pomegranate seeds, grapes, and oranges already on the counter. Each fruit so different—the colors, the textures, the shapes, the tastes! No joke, every time I cut up fruit for some chaat at Iftar time, my mind blows.
“He is the One who sent down water from the heavens. Then We brought forth with it vegetation of all kinds. Then from it We brought grains set upon one another. From the palm-trees, from their spathes, come forth the low hanging branches. (We produce) vineyards and the olive and the pomegranate, either similar or not similar to each other. Look at its fruit when it bears fruit, and its ripening. Surely, in all this there are signs for people who believe.” [Quran, 6:99]
The signs are everywhere…ank kohlke dehko! 👀