The other day I realized that the tree on the corner (of the place where I have now lived for over eight years) is a cherry tree. How did I realize that? It certainly wasn’t because I looked up. It was because a bird had bitten a piece off of an unripened cherry and when it dropped it landed right next to me. So I looked up and discovered a whole tree of cherries.
From Louise Erdrich’s The Painted Drum:
“Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you
or death brushes near,
let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling
all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.”