It happened, fast and furious. Not as a rain, like I’d expected, but as brisk, determined trips up and down the ladder, grabbing sticky cherries by the handful, filling every colander and large bowl we owned. Reaching as far as I could in every direction from the very top rung, while simultaneously telling Orlis, over and over again, “spit out the pit! spit out the pit!” Reminding the birds overhead that they should, at least, save me some, for goodness sakes. I’m the one who sweeps up around here, I told them. Negotiating with the squirrels, all 26 of them hiding in their nest — mentioning gently that it would nice if they eased up a little. How about you stick to the tall branches I can’t reach? I asked them. Yelling into the house for Rob to bring me more bowls; to fish pits out of Orlis’ mouth; to start making dinner.
And I’ll admit, I don’t know anyone else who dresses like her fruit tree, but I just felt like it. Those cherries were a full-time-job for a few days there, and, in their sweet perfection and unmatched beauty, they are filling the cracks of my patio with ooze and my flowerbeds with pits and my neighbor’s yard with molded versions of their better selves, and goodness, after all of this climbing, reaching, cherry-tree yoga, sweeping, de-stemming, washing, pitting, mixing with goodies, crust-making, jam cooking and canning, well, I think I deserve some pie now.