Saturday, June 18, 2016

We could be in Eden

I'm not actually going to be blaming trees here. And I don't have anything against those perfectly pretty, modestly sized trees full of small red fruits. "Are they cherries?" I think, as I approach them, growing as they are all along sections of the river paths, festooning the landscaped lawns of the University. No, they aren't cherries. They just look a bit like cherry trees from a dozen yards out.

But that then begs the question "Why aren't they cherries?"


I quite like cherries, and they grow here, right on the trees. They look pretty doing it too, prettier even than all these trees growing everywhere, the ones with the red berries that aren't cherries and that you can't eat. In my neighborhood I walk by a couple of real cherry trees, twelve feet tall, draped so prettily with fruit, all yellows moving into deep reds as they ripen. How tempting to pick them, but these are private cherries, so I remain hungry. One of my library co-workers has cherry trees and in the last few years has brought me a bucket or two at the start of summer. Much as the story about favoritism goes with parents and children, I too endeavor not to have favorite co-workers, but when my gardening co-worker shows up and says "There's a bucket of cherries for you in the break room." my resolve is sorely tested.

But there are never enough cherries. And when I walk by the open medians and grassy fields of public land, all tended and cared for by city and University workers, I can't help but note that here are perfect places for cherry trees. Decorative, fruit giving, shade throwing, glamorous cherry trees. Surely they couldn't be much harder to grow than all these other inedible fruit trees they've got growing. I want cherries. And while we're at it what's with all these stupid lawns they're mowing and watering all the time, the great banks of boring petunias they plant every Spring? Do they think I look at all that and find it pretty? No. I look at all that and think "Those could be fields of strawberries, and why not grow tomatoes all along the sunny side of this bike path."

But no. That is not the world I live in. I wait on the kindness of my co-workers, and I am forced to garden on my own. It's okay. I like the garden, aside from all the weeding. Nevertheless, on the whole, I'd prefer to just go for walks, picking ripe fruits as I go.

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