Life is a Bowl of Cherries


“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
― Henry James

A South Florida summer can be very, very hot and humid. Stepping out of an air conditioned home, a wave of heat will hit you like a ton of bricks and, if you wear eyeglasses, you’re momentarily blinded as the steam fogs up your lenses. But, if you’re lucky enough to have a yard full of trees, you can actually enjoy a summer afternoon outside, despite the humidity.

What a difference a tree makes!

Sitting under my grove of bamboo trees, I close my eyes to feel the warm, gentle breeze as it makes contact with my skin. Hanging on a nearby tree branch, the Woodstock chimes harmonize with the rustle of leaves ― the only music I need to hear.  I breathe in the smell of freshly cut grass. The lawn feels soft against my bare feet. The wispy, yet majestic, royal ponciana trees form a canopy over the entire house, dropping vibrant red flowers over the garden. I begin to crave something, but what? Cherries. That’s it. Cherries always remind me of summertime. I bought some from the market just the other day. As if reading my mind, my husband  (who has been watching me from the kitchen window, enjoying the sight of my serenity) brings out a bowl of cherries for me to taste. He sits in the chair beside me and together we savor the ripe fruit and silently enjoy the sound of quiet.

And here, in the northern hemisphere, summer has just begun.

“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Our royal ponciana trees (with the red flowers)

Top photo (cherries) via

Bottom photo (royal ponciana tree) by Heather Joan Marinos © 2013 – All Rights Reserved.

The Power of Touch

Young and Elderly hands

“This is what it means to be loved… when someone wants to touch you, to be tender…” 
― Banana YoshimotoThe Lake

I was living 2,864  miles away from the place that I was born and raised, when I received a call that my mother was in the hospital and that her condition was serious.  Immediately, I flew to Montréal and went straight to her bedside.  Despite her illness, she lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw me.  I gathered her in my arms and held her tight.  The words that she uttered not only made me weep, but also gave me great pause.  She said  “Ahhhh, I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to be embraced, to be touched, to be held!”  She closed her eyes, as if to capture the moment and store it in memory. 

She passed away eight years ago today.

The sense of touch is often considered the least important of the five senses.

I would argue to the contrary.


Image via