What I Learned From Cherry Pie
When I was a child I lived in a big brown house in a neighborhood full of friends. Along with the woodpecker that drove my parents crazy and the playhouse my dad built there was an enormous cherry tree whose branches left a good part of the yard in near perpetual shade. In the spring it was covered in thousands of little blossoms that would perfume the yard and leave the yard peppered with tiny petals for weeks after the last flower had fallen. In the fall the leaves turned red and gold for a spectacular show until they fell off and my brothers and I were forced to rake them up (a despicable chore). Even in the winter the tree was beautiful, its branches a resting place for birds as they flew south or white with snow and laden with icicles.
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind though that however picturesque or breathtaking it was in the winter, spring, or fall, the cherry tree was at its best in summer. In the summer the blossoms turned into cherries, green and hard at first but gradually turning orange and then to a fully red, ripe cherries. They were by no means the cherries you might buy in the store; they were small, hardly bigger than a marble, and very tart. But no matter the size or level of tartness of the cherries we might be harvesting, we would go out into the yard every year with enormous plastic buckets and ladders and, clamoring up the branches or up the ladders, we would pick cherries until we were exhausted and the buckets were full.
After the annual stripping of the cherry tree we would take a trip to my grandma’s house, the van full of cherries, for the chore of pitting the cherries and a week or two later something magical happened. To me it was a miracle. Somehow, through some strange process beyond my comprehension, my grandmother had taken the small, sour cherries that I had been eating off the branches a month earlier and transformed them into sweet cherry jelly and (most importantly) cherry pie. These were the two things I looked forward to all year and in a way I suppose that these two things can summarize my philosophy for life.
This I believe, life can be a sour and unappealing thing at first, you will find a rotten cherry occasionally or fall out of a tree but with hard work life can be a very sweet thing. Sometimes despite your work you will find a pit in your pie, but that is no reason to abandon the whole slice and so you should never let a few bad things ruin your day. This I believe, it is nearly impossible to make either perfect cherry jelly or pie alone, it is OK to let people help you. And of course, take time to enjoy the little things whether they be pie or flowers.
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