The tutor reflects on a question perhaps more philosophical than practical.
I’ve been out in the yard a lot lately, doing chores of various kinds. Yesterday I noticed that a number of apples have fallen from the tree in the backyard. Often, one or two small ones might fall this early, but there is a surprising number, some of surprisingly large size, lying on the ground.
I picked one up, expecting it to be sour – not so. While not fully sweetened, it was definitely edible. I tried two more in the course of the yard duties: one was sweet, while one was tart, but even the tart one was edible.
(Normally, the sugars aren’t this far along a month from now. The reason I’m not sure of, but I’ll research it for another post.)
Anyway, I began to wonder: Should I start picking the apples very soon, since they might just continue falling off? Else, should I wait a few more weeks at least (I usually pick them late Sept to early Oct), to let them ripen?
For now, I’m waiting, even though I know that if picked now, they will ripen in the bin. It just seems too early.
Sometimes, in life, circumstances suddenly point to “the right time” to take a certain action. However, the would-be actor isn’t ready. Often you hear people say the path to success is to take opportunities when they come, ready or not. Generally, I’m more conservative – maybe that’s why I’m not more successful.
In the great Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus argues they should march to Philippi, with the following reasoning:
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Brutus, of course, has already been rushed to act by Cassius in the killing of Caesar; hence, his situation is desperate. Now, he is rushing again. (Ironically, Cassius wants to wait.) Brutus prevails, so they march to Philippi. With all due respect to Brutus, how does it turn out?
Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 1996.
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.