Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Reverie

Under the birch tree I sat. Its tendrils of leaves shaded me in the middle of a blindingly sunny field, up the hill from my office. I was playing hooky during a ten minute wait between patients.

I'd turned away from my computer screen, saw the flawless blue sky through the half-open blinds, and easily turned my steps towards the front door. With a mug of lotus tea in one hand and my beeper in the other, I walked up the hill.

Here, the sound of cars in the parking lot was muffled, my figure sheltered from view. I drank my tea on the grass and squinted at the oblong strips of sky peeking through the birch.

My mind wandered. Door County sour cherries, recently pitted and now frozen in a large ziploc bag at home. I'd think about them often, prodded by their appearance when I open the freezer, feeling the blast of cold on my face.

Shiny red and tangy when I'd plopped one into my mouth, I had to remind myself to stop eating them as they were destined for another purpose. Pits slickly dropping onto the bottom of a mason jar when I inaugurated the cherry pitter brought back from a roadside stand in Door County weeks ago -along with the pint of sour cherries.

I'd make a cherry crisp, crumbly with oats, piquant with cardamon. The juices would bubble on the edges as I'd take a peek in the oven, impatient for that first slice.

Our green tea (Lung Ching or sencha) would brew patiently on the side, the cats limply sleeping on cool tiles.

The beeper tugged me back to the present, and I walked down the hill, the mug empty of tea.


Anonymous said...

As a boy I picked sour cherries with my Mother in Southern Ohio. I remember the stickiness of the cherries. Emptying are wicker baskets in large aluminum kettles. I struggled with the weight of those kettles brimming with cherries. Mother's pies had just enough sugar to complement the sourness of the cherries. Many years have passed since I have thought of those summer days.

Cha sen said...

Those sound like great memories.

G. Rudner said...

Brings back childhood memories of summer camp in northern Michigan. Sorry that pesky electronic tether had to interject its unwelcome presence.

Cha sen said...

Yes, I too have cherry-filled memories of days near Traverse City, lying on the beach for hours, eating cherry fudge...