Saturday, 18 February 2012
Life is like . . . (1)
Copyright Cary Bass
Life is like a bowl of cherries. Imagine a bowl filled with beautiful ripe bite-sized fruits. They range from almost white through pink to a deep red that is nearly black but they are always inviting, tempting and so delicious.
Children play with cherries, hanging the doubles over their ears, searching for the triples. Cherries are fun. Even the stones can provide pleasure and they might foretell the future, though to be honest the following rhyme is more usually associated with eating prunes!
‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief.’
When shall I be married? This year, next year, sometime, never.
What shall I be married in? Silk, satin, cotton, rags.
Cherries can be eaten slowly, though it is difficult, and always at the heart is the stone. ‘Don’t swallow the stone – a cherry tree will grow inside you’ but you swallow one anyway, occasionally, a kind of daredevilment, and nothing happens.
When the bowl is full it is impossible to imagine it empty. There are so many to enjoy and it’s easy to eat them quickly, one after the other. Suddenly, or so it seems, there are just a few left and it’s time to slow down and savour each one. The stones are sucked clean of clinging flesh and rolled around your mouth.
The last cherry lies in the dish. It must be eaten or it will be wasted. You want to taste that sweetness one more time, feel the juice spurting as you bite into the firm but yielding skin. You want it to last for ever but it cannot. All too soon it has been consumed and the bowl is empty. To one side of it are stones and stems, the only reminders of the fruits that once gave such pleasure.