Our family spent a dreamy summer afternoon recently picking cherries together, all ten of us.
After some disappointing harvests our tree was covered with fruit this year.
Thousands of cherries just waiting for us.
There was work enough for all of us, and plenty of cherry stained shirts, faces and hands before we were done.
As we filled bucket after bucket, which filled an entire refrigerator with plenty left over, I kept laughing aloud at the wonder of it all.
I told the children that someday they will tell their children about the joy of picking cherries in our backyard in the summer, of eating cherries until we’re full, of sharing with friends and neighbors. Year after year of doing this will combine in their memories to form a golden thread in the tapestry of family life which they will someday look back on and share with their children.
We talked about how people have been picking cherries for centuries, while most of the “fun” people have today is relatively new. I love having activities in our lives that connect us with generations long departed. It gives me a sense of continuity, reverence and deep gratitude. I want my children to value memories such as this. It was work, but it was the best kind of work: outdoors, together, a warm summer afternoon, the shade of the tree, total harmony and cooperation among the children, a bit of adventure for the older kids perched oh-so-high up in the tree, a seeming never-ending supply of fruit, and a full fridge to show for it!
I wish I could wave a magic wand and send a basket directly to the kitchen counter of everyone I love.
We made cherry milkshakes to celebrate. Yum!