When I was a little girl, we planted three bing cherry trees in our backyard. As I grew, the trees grew with me. By the time I was 8 years old, they were hanging over the fence of our yard, dripping with fruit. Strangers would often knock on our door and ask to pick the cherries, and we would invite them in and send them home with buckets filled to the brim. I spent summer after summer crawling in those low lying branches, dappled in sunlight and gorging myself on perfect cherries. Once I even painted my whole body red with cherry juice just to surprise my parents. These precious carefree memories exist in polar contrast to the responsibilities of my current life.
My relationship with my childhood cherry trees is precious to me because it distills something essential about being human: the act of foraging as a means to sustain oneself via an unbroken connection with the natural world. What's more, those summer cherries epitomize sweet perfection to me. Sure, plenty of things are sweeter than a ripe cherry, but nothing needs to be. In fact, a ripe juicy cherry can represent moderation, a healthy boundary to aspire towards, the perfect sweet treat that only appears in the summer, a fleeting experience to savor and cherish. These ideas informed title of my mashup comic/recipe book "No Sweeter Than The Ripest Cherry," as well as the inspiration, values, and remembrance explored here on this site. Welcome to my summer afternoon :)
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