Plum Season

July 21, 2010

This is for the women in my writing group. Written when my kids were 1 1/2 and 3 yrs. No set up, right ladies?

They congregate in the afternoons. Charlie, Elizabeth and I take daily walks to see them. Sometimes, it’s just a doe and two fawns. Other times, there is a group of eight. Two bucks, two does and four fawns. Charlie has learned to tip toe as we go around the bend in the road- for around the bend is where they graze. They see us. Look. Alert. Ready to flee if we move too quickly. Charlie and Elizabeth think nothing of it. Deer on the afternoon walk. I don’t want to beat them over the head with how fortunate they are to see deer on our afternoon walks. I marvel. A beautiful memory of this summer. We see the cute French lady every afternoon out walking her Yorkshire Terrier before Wheel of Fortune- she must be back home before 6! She lives in the house above the field where the deer graze. There’s a plum tree, she tells me. That’s why they’re there. They’re eating all the plums that have fallen off the tree. I’m disappointed in an odd way. This will end, I think. Plum season will end, and the deer won’t be here every afternoon for our afternoon date.

As I hear the French lady tell me about the plum tree, I feel sadness and gratitude. Plums have been an important character in my summer. I remember Tania picking plums with her father. I remember eating plums like a chain smoker at her dining room table. So juicy that you had to use a napkin. I warn Stephanie as her plum squirts all over the table. These plums have ruined Trader Joe’s plums for me. I ponder the joy of plums this summer, and I think about how we have to grab plum season for all that it can give to us. Life is hard. Evidence of the Fall is all around us. You don’t have to look hard. Rocky marriages. Difficult relationships. Learning disabilities. Autism. A lump in the breast. These difficulties come our way- like it or not. So, we have to celebrate plum season when it comes along and eke every bit of joy from it that we can get. Next year when Tania’s plums are ripe, I’m going to let the juice run down my chin.

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