When I was a kid, I was fixated by the story of Johnny Appleseed presented in Disney’s version.
In fact, in my mind, I can still see those apple trees blossoming. Yesterday, I looked up a clip on YouTube and felt those positive childhood emotions return to me. If you’ve never watched this cartoon, I strongly suggest that you do so.
The message will stick to your soul for a lifetime. This tale often returns to my mind as a reminder to share my talents with others. So to express my appreciation for this life-altering story, I decided to write Johnny Appleseed a letter of gratitude.
Your story enthralled me in my childhood—my favorite by far. The idea that I could sow seeds in distant lands that would grow into orchards of apple trees fascinated me. In fact, it has kept me pondering possibilities throughout my adult years.
I’m over fifty now, Johnny, and I can still see you whistling a happy tune as you walk along a dirt road, sack full of seeds slung over your shoulder. You reach into your burlap bag, grab a fistful, and toss them into the air. The seeds fan out as they scatter over soil of all kinds. Some land on soft mounds of earth while others fall between rocks. It doesn’t matter. Your seeds are the magical sort and apple trees grow everywhere you spread them.
When I think about you, I feel happy inside. It must be nice to have a purpose greater than all of your insecurities. How wonderful to spend your time spreading apple seeds instead of fixating on the minutia that insecurity causes me to fuss over.
So what am I trying to say? The bottom line is this—I want to be like you, Johnny. I want to spread seeds of hope, inspiration, and creativity. Yet the soil I’m aiming for is the human soul, and I dream about my seeds growing up into healthy trees that fill with fat, juicy fruit for hungry hearts. These trees will fill with apples full of seeds that others will sow in more lives.
I’ve got my whistle back, after a long, hard life. My burlap sack bulges with words and artwork and websites. I’m ready to set out and start tossing.
Here we go, Johnny. You, me, and the good Lord planting seeds, even though, in the end, I’ll probably never see a lot of those trees sprout blossoms. That doesn’t matter. I’m still going to heave as many seeds as I can while I walk along this dusty road of life.
Thanks for the inspiration, old friend.