It was Apple Day last Saturday.
Traditionally it's the day when all the apples have been picked and all the windfalls and damaged ones are turned into apple juice for cider.
Some friends invited us to a big apple juicing party to celebrate the day. They had borrowed a small hand operated apple press and we, the guests, were to provide apples; apples begged, bought, scrumped (but not quite stolen).
So all through the afternoon twelve adults and the older children chopped and crunched and pressed and at the end of the day we had eighty litres of apple juice; thick and opaque and utterly delicious; some to drink as juice, some for cider, some for wine.
The feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie was amazing. Because there were enough of us we all took turns at the chopping and pressing and took some time out for a chat too. The men drank beer and watched the teenagers enthusiastically wielding the apple press. The women (in a very traditional role – sorry) prepared the food which the aforementioned teenagers vacuumed off the plates at warp speed. We all felt incredibly connected to the earth and to community. So must our ancestors have felt when the whole tribe got together to complete some big project.
So it was a good feeling. It's always good to be involved in something bigger than you can manage by yourself or with just your immediate family or social group.
Apple Day is over for this year, but there are lots of other things to get involved with.
Just make sure you get thoroughly immersed in the involvement – because that's where the juice is.