I remember the cherry trees
around the dorms. I remember his jumping up to grab me some, and there weren’t too many left. I remember taking a walk around and seeing the “contrôleurs” waiting for the next bus to stop where they could step up and inspect everyone’s ticket. But for that moment we saw them across the hedges, jumping up as well, in their dark suits and gelled hair, giggling together, trying to get the cherries in this natural moment too.
I wasn’t excited then as I would be now. I didn’t understand the importance of the cherries at that time. The importance of their being on campus, of being accessible for anyone. The beauty and necessity of this. They were to me then some decorative trees in a landscape I got to exist in for a semester. And I never meant to fall in love either. Never meant to return so many years and really never let go. To return every day in a memory like this.
That was ten years ago. And I remember the cherry trees, and perfectly the pitch of his voice, like a recording playing again across time and in a new space, like my grandma’s contralto as she sang “Autumn Leaves” so sadly on a cassette she sent with her son to Vietnam.
Plant more fruit trees. Tend your orchards. Make your memories. Normalize real living food-giving plants in our lives again. This isn’t an order. It’s a chocolate maker’s dream, prayer, song.