Stephanie Pearce: Life is like a chokecherry bush

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Stephanie Pearce

I drive by the chokecherry bushes everyday twice a day; on my way to work and on my way home. They change throughout the year almost like we do throughout our lives. They make me really think about how quickly this life goes by.

In the spring, these bushes are just lots of grey twigs sticking out of the ground. There’s really nothing to them. They may be sprouting some green buds that will eventually be leaves, but really there’s not much there. Kind of like when babies are first born and they just eat and sleep and you find yourself staring at them for hours.

Then the twigs show signs of little buds with green peeking through. Like when babies start showing personalities and smiling back at you. You know they are growing so fast and you can almost see them grow, like the leaves poking out of the sticks, before you know it they are full grown leaves.

Next you notice the blossoms. They are starting to really be beautiful. Like when you see your teenagers becoming young adults and you can’t believe you created that human. You can’t wait to see the beauty that their life has become. But, it doesn’t stop there — there’s more.

You see the fruits develop. You watch your young adults grow into full-fledged adults and it happens so quickly. The blossoms fall off as they find their way into adulthood. They make mistakes and they make some awesome accomplishments along the way. They fall apart and they build themselves back up. You wonder if they will be able to bear fruit or if the branches will stay just gray branches after the blossoms fall. Eventually, they get it all together. Eventually you see the fruit develop.

First, it’s small and not yet the right color. Like when the adults start their lives out with their own families. They are there, but they are still coming into their own. They have a lot of growing to do still. They find their careers, their spouses and have kids. They start to appreciate where they came from. They start to appreciate their parents and all they’ve learned from them. Their experiences give them color.

They watch their own kids grow. They watch their kids grow into adulthood and pass on all they’ve learned to them. They even reach the end of their careers and are ready to start enjoying their retirement. Unfortunately, this is also when they become the deepest hue of red. This time goes by so quickly. They are so full of life experiences. So full of joy and are at the place where the most can be learned from them.

All too quickly though, the cherries start to shrivel. Their juices start to dry up. They know their time is near and winter is on the way. They know soon they will be gone from this world and leave the branches.

It’s sad how quickly the chokecherry bushes change. How quickly the cherries fall.

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