“Life is just a bowl of cherries; Don’t make it serious; Life’s too mysterious. You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go. So keep repeating it’s the berries; The strongest oak must fall.
The sweet things in life to you were just loaned, So how can you lose what you’ve never owned? Life is just a bowl of cherries, So live and laugh at it all.”
Ethel Merman belted out this song in 1931 and made history with lyrics that are as true today as when they were first sung. It is a great reminder to take life as one takes the cherry season, which is just upon us.The sweet and succulent little fruits that teach many a child that there is a pit to find, and that it takes the work of red sticky fingers to fully enjoy the dark meat of the fruit. Cherries and early summer are part of the same memory and each year’s first taste brings me back to the little girl who always had cherry drippings on every shirt. It was a small price to pay for the arduous work of the pit extraction.
Lately, I am traveling in a new terrain. I have crossed some invisible border in my work life and I am on the side of possibility and promise. It would seem to the onlookers that the transition to a viable business model has happened all around me. Certainly being witnessed and accepted by a community of respected peers is transformational and is the most rewarding part of achieving success. Yet the part that continues to catch me off guard is the life changing inside of me. The mystery of letting go the serious and to whatever degree possible, the tangible rewards in life that like seasonal fruit, come and go, opens to a huge green field beyond winning and losing.
Summer fruit is a good metaphor for most of life’s endeavors. Much as we would like to believe our work and efforts will withstand the test of time, as the song says even the strongest oak must fall. The sweet things in life, like who we love and who loved us back and the first cherry of every year, these are the treasures we are loaned and that make life the bowl of cherries that it is.
As I learn the remarkable feat of living the life I have always imagined, I hope I remember this song and through the inevitable ups and downs find it easier and easier to laugh at it all.