Clara reclined in her lawn chair and gazed blankly into the warm afternoon. With a content sigh she dangled another ripe purple cherry into her dark red ringed mouth. The dizzy chaos of the holiday picnic swirled around her, making her lazy movements give the impression of being a happy stone relaxing in a busy summer stream. She was frozen in time. Her eyes closed briefly while her whole body focused on the soft sweetness in her mouth. She would remain here forever. She saw me watching and smiled. “Daddy,” she said quietly. “I love cherries. I just love them.”

I smiled back and nodded.

She continued, reaching her hand back into the bowl on her lap, “I think cherries are my favorite vegetable.”

She noticed me chuckle as she bit into the next delicious piece. With a new line of red juice dripping off her chin, she raised a pink hand dismissively, “Or whatever. Cherries are just my favorite of everything.”

I pat her knee, kissed her forehead, and left her to her moment.