After The Rain: Where The Wild Plums Are
Mimsy and I went for a run in the rain on Labor Day. Of course. Why wouldn’t we? Since it was raining. Rain being almost always too good to be true—lately as rare as tanzanite around here (I looked it up; tanzanite is rarer than diamonds even, and beautiful, in transient, saturated hues…also, it’s found almost exclusively in Mount Kilimanjaro’s foothills, making it both rare and exotic). When Mimsy and I left, I slipped a camera under my jacket, wanting pictures of my favorite places being rained on, hoping the camera would be safe there. Mimsy slipped her tail under her belly, for similar reasons (although she’s no photographer, she adopted a pessimistic view of the whole running-in-the-rain-with-only- a-spotted-hide-for-cover concept). Before we’d even trotted a block, I had to return the camera to the foyer and start all over again with my reluctant puppy, dragging her behind me until her pitiful expression convinced me to carry her in my arms (nothing like a grateful dog’s tongue all over one’s face during a downpour).
Within another block, the deluge subsided, Mimsy’s misgivings were ameliorated, and she happily absorbed the novel rain-swept world on her own four feet again. Though she and I approach these adventures differently, in the end, we both delight in them. Take in our favorite places with quick-beating hearts.
One of my favorite places is where the wild plums are. Which is just beyond where the milkweed and cows congregate, then back past wild roses (recently arrayed as hippy chicks), sunflower cloisters, and an abandoned peach tree. The plums are almost unbelievable to me. I take in the mossy, decaying trunks. Marvel that such gnarly, stricken trees still bear fruit (and it is sweet; I’ve tasted the plums). Wonder how plum trees came to be there, thicketed on the fringes of grass and alfalfa… and then, content, turn my face (and the dog) back towards the mountains and home again.
Total favorite places roundtrip: somewhere in the neighborhood of three miles. A nice short run, easy on the knees. Or, a sufficient workout-walk with an energetic, insatiably curious dog, whose fascination with dung is disgusting, whose rudimentary understanding of “heel” is scandalously inconsequential, and whose shoulder and haunch strength belie her dainty build.
On this particular rainy day run, I loved how the peaches and plums and rose hips looked in the rain, as I knew I would. And I lamented (Mimsy gazing at me compassionately) that my camera was safe at home and out of reach. Although I’m sure I would have mourned its being unsafe and water damaged in my soaked jacket…Anyway. I came back later for pictures, but the sun had chased the rare rain clouds away. The peaches, plums, and roses, still beautiful, had shifted like tanzanite in a different light, back to their everyday spherical sweetness.
So I don’t have the exact pictures I hoped for when I set out with my dog in the rain. But it’s all good. There’s something delicious about rare moments that defy captivity. That elude definition. I consider the memory a gift.
The end. Smiley face.