First it was strawberries, then raspberries. I made jam and tucked plump red packages in the freezer; we feasted on handfuls of the sweet spring fruit. My favourites came next: blueberries. We tossed them on cereal and fresh-from-the-garden salad. I stowed some in the freezer for later. Best of all: fresh, handful after handful, staining my teeth and tongue. Pure bliss.
It’s cherries now. They ask more of me than the berries, but the effort of pitting is a price I am happy to pay. We sit at the chessboard, not too proud to pluck stems and spit pits on a plate to the side then roll smooth orbs in our mouth as we contemplate our next move. Cherries, like chess, take effort. The payback is rich.
I stand at the kitchen counter with the Cadillac of cherry pitters preparing trays to flash freeze. Once a big box of cherries filled me with dread, the ache in my thumb and the soreness in my back, marring my enjoyment of the fruit. Then Gerry brought home a new-fangled pitter and changed the whole cherry experience.
Summer tastes sweet and delicious. It doesn’t feel much like the season we look forward to in the white cold of winter, but it tastes like it. For now, that is enough.