John Chapman, affectionately known as Johnny Appleseed, lived from 1774 to 1845 and came from the area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He collected the discarded apple seeds from the apple cider mills, then cleaned and dried them in preparation for planting. He would put them in a pouch and set off to the pioneer areas out west that were just being settled at that time. He planted apple nurseries with his seeds and nurtured them until they were saplings, big enough to sell or barter for clothes and other items.
This barefoot tree-planting preacher was a welcome visitor to the settlers. They invited him into their homes, glad to hear news from the places Johnny had just been to and the stories he had to tell. He also was a kind of mobile lending library because he had his Bible divided up into sections and would leave one book with a settler home and then exchange it for another book when he passed through that same way again.
Apples from trees that are grown from seeds are seldom sweet, so the apples Johnny grew were usually processed into apple cider (used as a food preservative), and the trees were used to mark land boundaries. Like Johnny, we can grab ahold of the opportunities that come our way. Realizing an opportunity when it presents itself is just the first step, and then come all the steps that follow to bring that possibility to fruition, not unlike the many challenges Johnny faced nurturing apple trees from seeds.
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