One of the things I love most about autumn, is encountering windfall apples. The fruits themselves are of course pretty to look at, but it’s the decay process that most engages me. Apples that have fallen from trees get on with rotting and fermenting, and the smell of that is heady and wonderful. I have a keen sense of smell, and find scents deeply evocative – most people do, I think. Rotting apples are great.
They aren’t wasted. Many insects will feed on decaying fruit. So will wild mammals. Birds will eat the fruit, and the insects who were feeding on the fruit. Windfall apples are blessings for so many other beings. I have a particular memory of a winter when my then neighbours didn’t pick much of the fruit from their apple tree, and a great deal of apples ended up on the ground. This attracted an enormous flock of fieldfares who feasted there many times. It was wonderful to watch.
Humans are often too quick to want to tidy things up. There are blessings in messiness, in decay and in the fruit left to rot on the ground.