As I walked this weekend on a country bike path that was once a rail bed, I spotted chokecherry bushes full of ripe fruit. I pulled at a few, popped them in my mouth and hoped they weren't poisonous lookalikes. I spit out the pits. I ate a few more until my mouth was a bit dry. I got choked up as I remembered my chokecherry walks with my father, in Vermont, on a similar path.
For ten years running, when our children were youngsters, we rented a cottage on Lake Memphremagog, just north of Newport, in Vermont. My parents would often join us. At U.S. customs, they loved the way the kids would remain quiet through the questioning of the border guards, then throw up their arms and scream with delight as we pulled away. They knew the cottage was minutes away.
These were happy days: an exceptional sandy beach, shallow water for 50 feet out, and a view of soft mountains across the lake. A bike path ran parallel to the lake so you could walk or ride in either direction; north to North Derby Rd and Canada Customs or south, to North County Hospital and then the town of Newport. And chokecherries lined the path.
The chokecherries this weekend weren't nearly as good as they were when my father and I would walk at a snail's pace, talking with pleasure about nothing much while sampling chokecherries. Whenever the chokecherries would dry our mouths, and make it almost difficult to swallow, we would stop. I can't say I ever loved chokecherries, but my father had sweet childhood memories of chokecherry jelly, and so it was that we ate them together summer after summer, along the old railroad bed.
What fond memories choke you up? And why?
Keep you posted,
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.