Living in Northern California, this year’s Cherry season was extremely short. Late rains at the wrong time – just a few days before harvest –let the fruit split and made it unfit for the market.
I remembered a similar year last year with blackberries, there were almost none, blackberries that this year hang abundantly in thick dark clusters bursting with flavor and sweetness.
Every farmer knows that after a few years of great harvests, there will be a poor one, followed usually by another few years of good harvests.
So I wondered, “Why does nature go through these cycles?”
As I am preparing to visit my family in Germany for a few days, I am starting to understand. As I am packing my bags, say good bye to friends, my dog, my co-workers, and while I feel excitement about the trip and look forward to see my parents who are getting older every year (unlike me), there is a sense of sadness about leaving in my chest. I don’t mind flying, I will have a great time in Germany, and yet, already on my way to the airport, I know I will miss everything my life here holds. So actually, rather than sadness, it’s kind of a bittersweet joy of truly belonging, and knowing at the same time that I, and every other being, lives on borrowed time.
I am grateful that I am leaving so that I remember how precious my life here is, how much I love my friends, my work, and how lucky I got when my dog adapted me a few years ago.
After years of abundant cherries, this was a short season. The cherries were great, but the season washed over California in only a few short weeks, and now, at best, we have the very last crop from Washington at the markets, before in a week or so, by the end of August, we will have to wait another full year before we can taste the fleshy darkness of a perfect cherry, another full year before we can spit that stone again.
Nature has its ways of showing us what ever we need to learn and recognize in life – the feeling of truly belonging, the joy of an abundant harvest, the acceptance of things not coming in as planned – or leaving much too soon – and first and foremost, not to take anything for granted.