Once I Was An Apple

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Once I Was An Apple

Thrilled with life in his father’s branches, a full grown apple is shocked when told that in order to enjoy long term happiness, he must separate and fall to the Earth below.
Only in the darkness of the soil does he begin to understand that the power to rise again was planted in him all along. His father’s final words revealed that he was once an apple too, and if a great tree knew what it was like to be an apple, was it possible an apple might someday know what it is like to be a mighty tree?

Once I Was An Apple is an allegorical tale about the natural process of separation and self discovery which occurs at various stages of human life.

It will be published as an ebook and narrated video, and possibly as a hard-bound childrens book

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Once I Was An Apple

Illustrations

Story

At various stages of our existence, human beings come to a point where they realize the life they thought defined them is about to end, and they will need to let that life go and cut ties with their caregiver in order to move forward and become the thing that had once cared for and comforted them. Newborns experience this when after 9 months in a cozy soft womb, they begin to feel a painful push out the door toward the next stage. Young children experience it when after a few years of having Mommy always there, they now have to go to school. And so it continues as we graduate high school, get married, have children, watch them move away, become grandparents, and eventually leave mortality. Sometimes we go peacefully, but often there is confusion, and maybe even some kicking and screaming.

Once I Was An Apple demonstrates this Universal pattern through the life of an apple suddenly faced with the knowledge his father, a majestic tree, intends to let him go. It seems like such a mean and cruel thing to do, and the apple is unable to comprehend the greater perspective his father holds for his future.

This is probably my favorite story I have ever written to date, because I love working with universal patterns and deep symbolism. But I was concerned the backdrop of this apple’s life would be boring to a younger audience. I decided to test it on a difficult crowd, which I happen to conveniently have right here at home—my four sons ranging in age from 6 to 14. I had no illustrations to accompany, just the story printed on a few pieces of paper. As I read it to them one night before bed, a profound thing happened: they each became silent, sat still and stared into space at nothing in particular.

Having a considerable amount of experience with that condition myself, I realized they were each hard at work, their brains and spirits filled with sparks, processing one symbol after another, painting a broader view of themselves in the universe and the glorious, sometimes hidden value they each carry inside of themselves. Even my six-year-old (five at the time) didn’t move as he heard the various thoughts and emotions the little apple felt as he was faced with some very difficult and confusing circumstances.

They seemed to internalize the discovery the little apple makes when he realizes his father truly loved him, and knew he had the power within himself to choose to become something new. After I finished, they had loads to talk about. As I quieted them down and told them we’d have to finish another time, they looked happier, brighter and warmer than ever. They have since asked me to read the story again several times. As a dad, there is no greater compliment I could expect from anyone.

I hope you and your children will also enjoy the story and I look forward to hearing how your children respond.

~Calvin