Not to Take Anything For Granted

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.



  1. Colleen Proppé

    Isn’t it wonderful that life does provide us with so much change, so much challenge… Life is the best teacher! If everything was the same each year, we would get bored. Enjoy the blackberries… Make a cobbler. My favorite saying of the year thus far was uttered by a 7 year old girl, at the dinner table, speaking to a 7 year old boy who didn’t want to eat what was set before him: “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset”. Brilliant words from such a young one! : )

  2. Raechel running

    I am really so happy to find your musings. so true, so true!
    As a photographer living/working bi-nationally between US and Mexico I have fallen in love with the fields and the workers. I am inspired by your work and what I am learning to help GREEN up our relations with our neighbors; one would think we’d appreciate the hands that grow our food and perhaps through the dirt is a way towards a new peace and neighborly relations
    beyond the fence. Gracias!

    Here’s to the beautiful GREEN and brown earth….

  3. J.

    Many of life’s treasures are truly ephemeral, with nature intending them to be, just that way, (SunCrest peaches, squash blossoms, ripe berries…).
    If we are humbled by the impermanence of these joys, we will see the beauty and goodness, at the very moments of our enjoyment. Being aware that these short lived joys are actually precious lessons nature is teaching us, we then know to not take for granted these gifts bestowed upon us, but instead, to savor the limited time we have them… a lesson for life as well.

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