Our cherry tree is older now – it still gives us some cherries, but not the hundred pounds of days gone by. My stepdaughter has a daughter of her own now, and a son. We don’t see them though, as they are busy with their own lives on the coast.
Today was a family day and we enjoyed it “to the max,” as we used to say when I was a kid. At one point I looked out the kitchen window and thought, “You can’t ask for much more than this – to be happy and healthy and enjoy some quality time with loved ones.”
We picked fruit today from the trees in our yard. This morning after I walked the dog, I had an apricot that was slightly warm from the morning sun. I felt a bit like I was in an advertisement; it was surreal.
Later we picked cherries – buckets of them. We pitted cherries till our palms hurt from pushing the pitter. We put cherries in the freezer. We made cherry jelly. And I baked cherry clafoutis, which we took to a potluck dinner. There are still buckets of cherries in the fridge for eating. It’s like we have hit the cherry jackpot and the winnings just keep rolling in!
I don’t want to sound like I am a child of the Depression, but I must admit that the abundance of such food on our doorstep is daunting. It is humbling to know that you have more than enough and at the same time there is an odd sense of duty in me that says I should not waste it. (Perhaps that might help explain why we turned our kitchen into an assembly line today.)
I remember cherries being a rarity when I grew up; they were the most expensive fruit other than tropical varieties – and those were not something we bought unless for a special occasion. My Mom loved cherries, but she taught us that they were a treat to be savoured.
It was a special reward today to be able to enjoy our very own bounty and to share it with others. Decadence can be a simple thing, as it turns out.
There was also a decadence to watching Martin and my stepdaugher from the window, swapping stories as they filled their buckets. Father-daughter time is something else that is a rarity these days and it too should be cherished. I have many such memories to keep in my heart. Now that my dad is gone, I am even more conscious of the value of such moments.
When things are going well, it seems a very fitting saying, that expression “life is a bowl of cherries.” The joy of being able to appreciate good things in abundance is special; it reminds us that we are fortunate, and fuels us for the days when we feel down. I am so glad we really got to live that saying today.
We can live that saying every day. Summer still comes around, and the fruit ripens. People get older, and lives get busier it seems. We just need to cherish the moments we can grab each day; going back in time isn’t possible, but savouring the present is just as delicious as a bowl of cherries.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.