Every spring, right around my birthday and a week after my peonies bloom, a sour cherry tree bares its fruit in my backyard. If the whole tree was picked, five pies, five great pies, could be baked.
Last year I waited and watched, thinking I could outsmart nature and the birds that live around me. I thought I could wait until almost every single cherry was ripe and then, BAM!, take them all at once. A cherry thief.
Nope. I learned a really valuable lesson, one to add to my life-long fascination with both timing and the greediness humans can’t help but possess. It seems like we are born with an instinct to want to outsmart and control whatever, whomever we can.
I waited too long. That tree was 90% full of perfect, red, ripe cherries, enough for five pies, but I wanted 100%. The next day…all the cherries were gone.
How could I compete with hundreds of birds that know more about how and when each cherry is perfectly ripe?
This year I didn’t take any chances. I was humbled by last year’s cherry greed. One of my favorite kids turned five on a Tuesday, and on that Tuesday two adults and four little kids picked enough for, and baked, three great birthday cherry pies.
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