Fill Your Bowl with Cherries

Emily Kingsley
6 min readJul 28, 2023

The ties that bind the War of 1812 to chainsaw grease to a peach pit.

Photo by UNIBOA on Unsplash

Tonight at dinner, I sliced a peach and put it in a bowl on the table. My husband is camping on a glacier in Alaska this week, so dinner at our house has been casual. In addition to the peach, my kids and I ate garlic bread and hotdogs.

“Please pass the cherry bowl,” I said to my son.

“It’s a peach bowl,” he countered.

He was wrong though, the bowl is a cherry bowl, even as it sat holding peachers, and it’s one of the few things I’d run back into my burning house to save if I ever had the opportunity.

The bowl is about nine inches across the top and two inches deep. The red rings of the wood spill out towards the edges like ripples on a pond. I’m not sentimental or spiritual, but when I put my finger on the center ring, it feels a little bit like time traveling.

Working backward, I know the bowl was turned on a lathe in upstate New York in 2017. I know this because the man who turned it signed his name with a woodburning pen and dated it.

Before that, I know the wood came from a cherry tree that grew on my grandparents' farm in upstate New York. For as long as I can remember, my family has harvested firewood from the flat, fertile woodlots that my family has owned for…



Emily Kingsley

Always polishing the flip side of the coin. Live updates from the middle class. She/her.