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A few months ago I took my friend Deb to pick apples. It was her first trip to Colorado, and I wanted to make sure I left her with memories she wouldn’t soon forget. I had no idea how much the experience would impact me, too.
We drove an hour into the countryside and pulled to a stop at the end of a long, hot road. The farmer was a kind man who showed us around the orchard and pointed us to a surprise in the far corner of his field: a dusty little potato patch. Deb and I would spend the next hour in the altitude and sun, digging yukon golds from the ground and yanking granny smiths down from the old apple trees.
For all of our strain and sweat, we didn’t score all that much by the time we weighed and paid for what we’d picked. I laughed, commenting to my friend how my grandmother—if she were alive today—would find it hard to believe how much I paid to work in somebody’s field picking and digging for my dinner.
As we scrubbed and cut those potatoes later that evening, it hit me—the realization that I was free to come and go from those fields as I pleased, that I could put my hands in the earth and feed myself by its bounty, that I was healthy enough in body and mind to do it at all. For every aspect of that day—friendship and laughter included—I was grateful.