The barn was old and the forest behind it older.
It hadn’t been reclaimed then, not by the creeping pine and alder.
Instead, the only branches that cracked the rotting wood and curiously investigated the windows belonged to the sprouting cherries.
There’d been a pen once, for pigs or for chickens, I was never sure.
Someone had spit their leftover cherry pits into the mud.
The cherries outlasted the barn animals.
They formed a thicket around the south side of the old barn, so dense that only a very small child could move between them.
I’d sit there sometimes, hidden between the trunks, letting the heavy heat settle over my shoulders.
I learned to love the smell of rotting wood mixed with the sweet, rich taste of blooming cherries.
I tried to plant those cherries elsewhere, but they refused to grow.
That particular brand of magic was confined to that frozen corner, that strange fusion of the past and present.
When that place passed beyond my knowing, I learned to close my eyes.
I learned to call back the sick-sweet taste of the spring air.
To call back the vision of a thousand blossoms, rising forever above my head.
The Darling Buds are brought to you by Victorian flower meanings, a wanton disregard for photographic technique, and the letter N for Nostalgia.
I’ve had a number of opportunities for learning. I try to find the value in all of them. For more writing on learning, change, and the value of appreciation, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.