Some of my favorite memories convene around peaches. I recall a summer day on the wharf in San Fransisco where we wandered a Farmer's Market taste-testing. I saw a store there which sold every imaginable kind of mushroom. We had Gelato and I bought several small "refreshing" misting bottles- one the scent of Douglas Fir, another of Roses.
Another memory is peach picking at a near-by farm. It was a rainy-weekend so the farm wasn't getting enough business, so we purchased twenty bags of fruit at a peerless price. The peaches were at their peak- they fell off the branches at a touch. We picked and we ate- and ate, and ate. I have never since tasted such perfection.
Peaches. I miss peaches.
But this eternal winter! Weeks of whiteness- then speckled gray. I had forgotten what the ground looked like. For a while there I would walk down something resembling tunnels at my school -the snow was nearly up to my shoulder. (Lest the image be exaggerated, I must here remind you I am vertically challenged.) My father thought the streets resembled toboggan runs. My brothers made a fortune shoveling driveways.
And now winter quakes. I remember the first day I smelled the earth again- wet, whimpering, gasping for breath. We have had times where it rained, sleeted, and snowed all in the same day- but still the mail came and still the ice on the lakes turned from white... to a shivering gray... and now it is gone.
My uncle in California asked me if I can see the ground. Yes, I see lots of it. But I also see great mountains of snow yet lingering.
I drove my brothers to church today in rain. Weather.com had a flash-flood advisory. On the way there we groped our way down mountain sides thick with fog. On the way back I had to cross the ever-glaring double-yellow-line to drive through the shallower portion of an enormous puddle.
All is wet. All is melting. The skies are doing a victory-dance.
I pray it is not a premature celebration. Because I long for thick grass, for picnics, for games in open fields, for wanderings barefoot through trees, for parties with music and food (where the sun is invited), for white clothes, for water, for fish on the grill, and for the sun rays and warm breezes caressing my bare arms and face. And I miss peaches- trees laden with the ripe and luscious.