Cherishable Memory of Cherry
201102861 Huyoung Lee
Every summer in my childhood, there was one thing I was looking forward to-cherries. There was a cherry tree at the corner of my grandparent's garden. It would bear appetizing red cherries on its thin branch in summers. They were so vividly red and transparent like glass beads, which was attractive enough to fill my hands with a pile of them. I would then put them into a bowl and proudly show it to my family. When I put the tiny little fruit into my mouth, a sour and sweet taste of early summer spread out. It colored a page of my memory red. Yes, it's a memory from my childhood, my grandparent's garden.
My grandfather was a professor of the department of horticulture. His bookshelves were full of books on flowers and trees. Also he grew a lot of them in his garden. The garden was not very big – slightly smaller than a tennis coat. It was rectangular and had two entrances at both sides-although one was mere a small byway/byroad than an entrance. The left side was the main entrance with a beautiful cobblestoned path. Some roses and tiger lilies were around the path which made me go through quickly because of the bees around them. I didn't like the other entrance because it was near the old toilet. It had a faded green door and always smelt like a typical neglected toilet. Between the entrances, strange foliage plants with grain-sized green leaves shaped a long rectangle. My grandmother would hang out the laundry above it. There were a variety of flowers and trees that my grandfather grew with love and care. In the center of the garden, there was a big yew. Whenever I come to the garden, I would run right away to it and watched the green giant. As long as I remember, it always had tiny red fruit through its needle-like leaves, which enchanted me like a gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. Just like I'm under a spell, I would stretch my arms and pick some of them and crushed them with my fingers.
What I really loved in there was a crab apple tree at the corner. When it bears plump fruit, I used to linger around it to pick up the fruit on the ground. Although they were not edible, it made me happy to just put them into my pocket which blew up like a squirrel's cheek full of acorns. Beside the crab apple tree was a persimmon tree with the same height. When it starts to hang small green balls on its branch, my heart would flutter with excitement and joy that I would soon add them turned into mild orange to my pocket.
The garden was perfectly beautiful in springs. An apricot tree welcomed me at the entrance with its graceful pink flowers. Azaleas and forsythias were everywhere. Every spring my grandmother would call me and say, "Azaleas have bloomed beautifully this year." I would then come to the garden and pick some azaleas with her to make Hwajun, a flat fried rice cake with petals on it. She brought a bowl of rice paste, made flat circles with it and put them on the oiled pan. Sizzling, pale pink flowers started to bloom on the circles. I watched it in fascination. When it's done, she took a well-baked one and gave it to me. With a little sugar on it, I took a bite. It tasted like I was putting the whole spring scenery into my mouth, with the sweet scent of flowery oil. A mild spring wind slightly touched my face. It was like a greeting from the fairytales.
As I have grown up now, the garden has also changed. There is no cherry tree anymore, no crab apples and no persimmons. The yew, a green giant, is not a giant anymore. It doesn't feel the same as I did when I was a child. However, it's where I can always stay familiar with. Still I walk through the cobblestoned path with roses and flowers around it and pick the red fruit. I step on the lawn, pick azaleas and eat Hwajun, and then come out through the narrow byway. It's where my adorable memories are within, where I remind of my old days and the taste of red cherries.