The cherry tree in my garden is full of fruit. Bright red against a leafy backdrop, the cherries beckon to me.
I am fond of cherries. Not so much of the cherry flavor that they put in ice cream or drinks. But of the fruits themselves, which one does not easily find in stores — at least where I live.
Cherries are not as ubiquitous as apples or oranges – I can only enjoy them at this time of the year. Nor do cherries offer the easy pleasures of bananas.
The sweetly sour flesh of cherries is wrapped around a tiny but hard pit that reminds you to eat them with discernment. Forget this natural admonishment and your tooth shall rue it.
Would it be an exaggeration to say that eating cherries is a philosophical reminder that the soft and pleasant part of life is wrapped around something harder, tougher, that gives it form and substance and that lessens it only to increase its worth? Perhaps not.
What you do with the pits is another matter that requires consideration. I can certainly spit them in the grass, but that strikes me as rude, even if I know nobody is looking.
Spitting them in the cherry bowl presents itself as an alternative. But the mingling of the pits with the uneaten cherries strikes me as unpleasant, odious even.
I know that in my stomach the mingling of substances is a far more gastric sight. It is no accident that our eyes see outside of us rather than inside. For the horrors in our depths are most anatomical, to put it mildly.
I could certainly use a second bowl or some plate for the simple disposal of the pits. But you see, I like to eat cherries while strolling through the garden. That makes it impractical for me to carry two bowls since one hand holds the bowl with the uneaten cherries and the other needs to be free to convey said cherries to my mouth.
Thus I am confronted with the cherry pit dilemma, which so far I have been unable to solve.
Perhaps the only true solution to this problem would be a wife, for then one of us could hold the bowl with cherries and the other the bowl for pits and in this manner prove our mutual affection.
Another matter of perhaps even greater concern, that comes between me and the enjoyment of the cherries, is that after each new visit that I pay the cherry tree, the lower branches that are within my reach are slowly being lessened of their burden of fruit.
In a few days or so I anticipate that all cherries will be out of my reach. This will doubtless call for ladders and some tree climbing, subjects not to my liking since I have always suffered from a certain fear of heights.
Added to this is a growing fear of falls, for just the other day, an old man of the neighborhood told me how the other night he fell from his cherry tree. He was admittedly drunk, but still…
My grandfather too fell from a cherry tree many years ago and had to wear for many weeks a plaster coat.
Come to think of it, whenever I hear of someone falling from a tree, it is usually a cherry tree. (I recall now that last year another neighbor fell from her cherry tree and dislocated her shoulder.)
For in spite of its innocent appearance, the cherry tree with its slender branches and rich ornaments is arguably among the most deceptive of trees, giving way under eager feet at the slightest provocation.
Let us hope then that I will survive the cheery season. And since I suspect that you do not have a cherry tree in your garden, or at least not one such as mine, I offer you a small bowl of cherries, that you may muse upon it while I eat it.