What are your most powerful memories?
With the upcoming holidays and celebrations – we have a wonderful opportunity to create poignant and lasting memories of family, friends, and community. The way to create these most successfully is to engage the full set of senses.
Just this week I had a powerful reminder of a wonderful memory I had when I was in third grade… let’s just say that was quite a while ago.
I went to the Baldwin Grade School in Brookline Massachusetts. I loved this school. It was small – just kindergarten through third grade – and in an old brick school building with large beautiful windows, lots of light, a real bell we got to ring, with a large grass playground that surrounded the building.
It was late fall, probably the beginning of November and my third grade class at Baldwin Grade School in Brookline went on a field trip to a local apple orchard to pick apples and visit with the farmer. For the life of me I cannot remember the name or location of the orchard – evidently it wasn’t important to me at the time – how that’s changed!
What is etched in my mind are the senses I experienced that day.
Sounds – rustling leaves beneath our feet, the farmers voice and his clear pride and love of what he did, the usual chatter and laughter of third grade children let loose into a field.
Colors – I remember the colors, of the leaves, the long grasses in the fields, and the jewel like colors of the apples hanging ripe in the trees.
But mostly I remember the smell, texture and the taste of one apple in particular.
We were told we could each select one apple to eat. There were many varieties of apples planted at this orchard and usually I would have had a hard time deciding and choosing from such abundance… but not that day. There in front of me was an apple on what the farmer had described as a very special tree, but one that he would be cutting out of his orchard because it only produced fruit every other year.
It was everything I thought an apple should be. Deep red, round, shiny, flavor that was rich and sweet, with just the right amount of tart… and the sound was crisp and snappy. Furthermore, the name of the apple was the same as the name of my school – Baldwin.
Now, when I think of apples – this is the memory that informs me of what an apple should be!
This week Zeke of Scott Orchards is rewarding us by offering that very variety – Baldwin – as our Heirloom Eating Apple. And in the process, bringing me this wonderful sensory memory.
Children, like I did then, create wonderful and lasting memories when a number of their senses are simultaneously engaged.
Involving children in cooking and gardening in the home gets the feeling of dirt on their hands, the smell of the earth on freshly harvested food, and the taste of food they have helped to prepare. Moreover, the simple sharing of family tasks in the home engages the heart, hands, and minds.
These memories will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Holidays and celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Hanukkah present wonderful opportunities to create positive, poignant, and lasting memories of food, family community, and the importance of gratitude for the miracle of abundance.
So this holiday season – and next week in particular, I am wishing you and your family many opportunities to create wonderful flavor and sense memories for you and your family.
If you feel moved, take a moment to share them with us. We’d love to hear from you.
Have a wonderful holiday – Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah –