“Live and laugh at it all!”. That’s how the song ends. I only realised the other day that ‘life is just a bowl of cherries’ is a song that dates back to 1931. I always thought it was just a saying, and a more modern one at that.
The phrase came to mind last Saturday afternoon. We’d just arrived at my in-laws’ house after almost 3 hours on the road. It was a hot day and we were all a bit drained after the drive. “Have you seen the cherry tree?” my father in law asked.
I glanced down the garden. The tree was red with ripening cherries, the branches so laden down that many were dragging on the ground. My in-laws, my three sons, their cousin and I were all drawn to the tree to marvel at the bounty of cherries.
The branches arched under the weight, making a den-like space between the trunk and where the branch ends touched the grass. The three older boys walked straight in, pushing leaves and dangling cherries aside like curtains.
My in-laws and I chatted and laughed at the children’s delight as we munched on warm, plump juicy cherries, ignoring the fact that some may have had a worm inside. The Bavarian joined us after he’s unpacked the car, and the marvelling began again.
The children emerged from their den some time later looking like something from The Bavarian’s zombie books – cherry juice smeared round their mouths and under their findernails, t-shirts sprayed with juice flecks. Number One even had juice on his legs. The joint novelties of being able to pick fruit from a tree by themselves and being allowed eat their fill of something sweet kept the boys entertained for a good half hour.
The grown ups retired to the shade of the patio for coffee, the children remained down the garden, each group enjoying the freedom to do as they pleased.