Tis the season . . . Indeed, just walk into any bakery or kitchen, especially at this time of the year, and take a long whiff. Of all the perceptive (inner) senses, smell is the one with a fast track to the subconscious and holds the key to where the deepest buried memories reside. During a recent psychic reading, the deceased mother of my client made an appearance via a strong scent of cinnamon and the image of an apple pie in my mind. Because that was a favorite memory from her mom, it imparted to my client the mom’s message of love, holiday baking delights and peace for her daughter from the spirit world. The very realistic scent of that a baking apple pie was one of my own favorite smells from holiday kitchens. Of course, there was more to the messages, but the pie served as a spiritual opener of the way and led to a kindly closure for the mother’s passing, symbolically transmuting their love into one that would stay alive in their hearts. Even more profound than the message from a loved one, was that this mother additionally presented me with a personal gift in the imagery that I only realized with a start upon the close of the reading.
Through that communication with a mother’s spirit, my psychic smeller began working overtime and it got my thinking about what cinnamon and apple pies meant for me. It took me readily back to the days with my own grandmother (in spirit for a very long time) and of her baking the most wonderful things on an old wood stove. She baked daily – pies, cakes, cookies, big baking powder biscuits and every meal, especially my favorite meals of hot dogs or hot rice as cereal with milk and sugar (I was an easy kid to please). Therefore, the scent of cinnamon speaks powerfully to my inner and outer senses; it always has, especially at the holidays. Regardless of whether it comes as a brief whiff of residual delight or fills a kitchen with odors that whet the appetite, it is unique and special for me.
Considering Apple pie metaphorically, it is a gift of spirit to the taste buds, imagination and intuitive senses. The visual included fingers gently pinching the edges of the crust, keeping the ingredients as a single delicious mixture. Whether one chooses sweet or tart apples, the pie can symbolize life’s difficulties, joyful moments or crises that enter our life—even the enhancement of our personality as sweet or sour. All of which becomes an analogy for who we have become (as the completed pie) and who we shall chose to be when baked (in the future). Imagine the piecrust as an outer shell (skin), tough and crusty for protection from the harshness of life or brushed with butter to soften and nurture our emotions. When adding sugar to combat tartness, it can remind us to treasure the sweetest moments and recall them whenever sorrow, pain or disappointment appears, symbolically realizing that it is a positive attitude that most effectively heals or overcomes adversity and enhances medical science. Spices added for individual tastes include: cloves and allspice to intensify the flavors of life, a sprinkle of lemon for balance and plenty of cinnamon for its bite so much nicer than its bark (pun intended, cinnamon comes from a tree, after all). Last, are pats of butter to moisten the apples as they bake, acting as golden globs of love melting throughout all that it shall become—in the same way we can learn to include love in all we do if only we will let the heart to teach us how.
So . . . go peel an apple or two. Hold your knife steady, cutting the skin into one long spiral as a quaint challenge that brings good luck (Um, I just made up that last part). Recipes rarely call for distasteful ingredients, nor do we intentionally wish for such metaphoric inclusions in life, but remember the country song – “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” – and remember we can choose whether we allow life to get us down and sit on us or tackle the lesson and get up again. It is important to select your apples wisely – for their tartness or sweetness – then add spices most appropriate to create a balance in your life. Oh, go on . . . pinch the crust with your fingers, thereby, manipulating fate with a gentleness for emotional creativity. Alternatively, you may prefer to press the crust with the tines of a fork, as a tool of fulfillment of desire using technical knowledge. Whether you prefer to think of the apple as Christianity’s dubious fruit, which caused Eve's downfall, or as a pagan symbol of goddess/feminine wisdom, when you cut it crosswise, the seeds form a protective pentagram. Oh, by the way, apples also make great treats for your beloved horse or Santa’s reindeer.
ALAS, even it you cannot do as I shall tomorrow, pick a time and get your hands into the flour, peel the apples and sprinkle in plenty of cinnamon . . . then, go ahead and let loose your imagination while you don a metaphoric apron and get even a vicarious cinnamon fix and remember for --'TIS THE SEASON to enjoy time and memories with friends and family (including those on the other side of the veil for they will surely be attracted to your baking endeavors by the fragrances wafting through the house and will eagerly wish to be invited to share in your celebration) and--BAKE an APPLE PIE, SEASONED with MEMORIES REMEMBERED . . . BUT, probably SANS BLACKBIRDS!