There are two young cherry trees at the front of the house. They produced a handful of cherries, which the kids ate excitedly. I loved seeing their happy faces and thought that I should buy a wider variety of fruit, some of which I perceive as being expensive, for them more often as a special treat. Why do sugary cakes, biscuits and lollies often tempt me instead?
Like most Russian families when I was a child we had a dacha where my parents grew vegetables and fruit. So while fresh fruit and veg weren’t available all year around, there were parts of the year when they were abundant, but cakes, biscuits and chocolates were rarely bought or made. I miss that seasonal abundance of fruit and vegetables.
My kids are growing up being able to buy many types of fruit and vegetables from the supermarket at any time of the year, but they haven’t experienced the cycle of caring for the plants to be rewarded with the huge crop, of being able to gather the cherries or apricots or apples and eat as much as one wants and have plenty left over to be shared with friends and to be preserved for winter.
It is a different kind of abundance from the supermarket one – an abundance enriched by work, by intention, by the connection to the land and the nature and the seasons. Somehow I need to get my kids to spend more time outside with me gardening and learning about this land and this climate.
Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour sketch in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 21×13 cm)