A Visit to the Apple Orchard

Let's begin by gently closing your eyes. It is a fall day with the sun shining and a crispness in the air. As you arrive at this apple orchard, you see mountains in the distance that greet you with the brilliant colors of orange, red, brown and yellow reminding you of the changing season.

Walk through the apple orchard and smell the wonderful aroma of apples. Who is with you to enjoy this experience? (Pause) Reach out and touch an apple hanging from a low branch. Take it from the tree. It is the tree's gift to you. (Pause) What color is it? Red? Green? Yellow? Gently shine its skin by rubbing it on your shirt. It has such a shine that you can see your sweet face. How does it make you feel? (Pause) Bite into the apple and listen to the crunching sound it makes. Feel the juicy spray in your mouth and on your lips. Delight in this moment. (Pause) What a delicious apple!

Continue walking along the path between the apple trees. There are some people walking toward you that you know. Who are they? (Pause) They stop to visit. You have a great conversation. What do you talk about? (Pause)

Say good-bye to them and walk along the paths through the orchard. What sounds do you hear? (Pause) Do you hear the thump of an apple nearby? (Pause) It fell from the tree because it was ready to. What do you see? (Pause) There are butterflies fluttering by. What color are they? (Pause) What do they remind you of? (Pause) One lands on your shoulder. Listen . . . it has a message for you. What is its message? (Pause) That message will make you feel very happy inside.

You have chosen a tree where you will pick your apples. Stand in front of this magnificent tree and take a good look at it. The apples look so bright in color because of the way the green leaves surround them. Picture yourself picking the apples. (Pause) Listen to the sound of the apples snapping from the branch as you take each one off with the gentle touch of your fingers. (Pause) Hear the rustling sound of the leaves and branches as a fall breeze greets you here. (Pause) When your bag is full, walk back to the gift shop at the apple orchard.

The fragrance of the apples is everywhere. You see homemade apple pies, jugs of apple cider, baskets of freshly picked apples, jars of apple jelly and apple butter, books that have many apple recipes, baskets of cheese, homemade breads and red hooded sweatshirts with a big green tree on the front. (Pause) What other things do you see in the gift shop? (Pause) There is hot mulled cider in little white cups. As you take a sip, feel the warmth of the cider as you swallow it. How does it make you feel? (Pause) There is a clerk at a table nearby and children are forming a circle around her. Go over and see what is happening. The clerk is showing all of you how to cut an apple in half. She holds up the halves and shows you a star in each one. What a fascinating gift from nature! (Pause) The clerk tells you that as you look at this star to remember that you, too, are a shining star. When you hear this said, there is a very warm feeling inside because you know how important it is to be kind and gentle to yourself. You are your own best friend. (Pause) When you can do this for yourself, then you can give your friendship to others. Oh, yes, you are so dear, sweet and wonderful!

Remember . . . you can come back to this special place any time you wish through your thoughts and wonderful imagination. (Pause)

When you are ready, begin to wiggle your toes. (Pause) Wiggle your fingers. (Pause) Stretch your arms. (Pause) And, gently open your eyes, feeling at peace with yourself and your world.

Discussion Questions:

1. Who went to the apple orchard with you?

2. How did it feel when you picked the apple and felt its spray on your lips and in your mouth?

3. As you were walking, who did you meet? What did you talk about?

4. What color were the butterflies? What was its message to you?

5. When you were in the orchard, what did you see?

6. What sounds did you hear?

7. What did you like about the gift shop? If you could choose one item to buy, what would it be? Why?

8. If you could bring a group of friends to the apple orchard and be their tour guide, what activities would you plan for them?

Please feel free to copy this to use with your child.