Pressing On

"The future rewards those who press on." - Barack Obama

Today, I am thinking about the symbolism of bobbing for apples. The futility of the game seems like such a joke, until you snatch one up in your teeth, victoriously. You will get a face full of water over and over again, if you choose to play. You will have to hold your breath. You will have to dunk your head again. You will have to press on, if you want that apple.

Apples have been sacred markers for much of human history, and are also deeply connected to leaders of history. Even the Isle of Avalon, where legendary King Arthur is said to have been laid to rest, is an "Isle of Apples." Today it does not seem that a single olive branch is being passed—instead we may be passing an apple or a hawthone (a spiny-branched apple relative), instead.

The origins of playing bobbing for apples actually lie in a game of divination and fortune telling, which also seems prescient for the change of administration and a ceremonial ushering in of unknowns, today. From the 16th to the 19th Centuries, apple bobbing was a courtship game, where women would mark the apples before adding them to the barrel of water. With apples float, the womens' potential sweethearts would dunk in to catch the fruit with their teeth, and with this, future couplings were foretold.

“When they go low, we go high.” - Michelle Obama