It all started with the sweetness of the white nectarines whose delightful scent wafted over to me from across the produce department and lured me in. I couldn't resist. And then, there they were, right next to the nectarines, a precarious pile of small, soft, pale sunset-orange apricots. I almost left without them, but then, why not? It's been so long, I thought. And I brought them to my apartment and left them sitting, waiting. Until today. I picked one up at lunch, and with the first semi-sweet bite, I was suddenly 5 years old again, in my backyard-- laughing and playing in the grass with my sister, enjoying a mild summer evening with my family as we picked and ate the warm, delicate fruits from our beautiful giant of an apricot tree. The tree that my dad meticulously pruned and my parents carefully protected with huge patchwork sheets on the coldest winter nights to save the delicate branches and leaves from (the occasional) freezing temperatures. The tree we tried to take with us when we moved to our new house when I was six, but which failed to thrive and blossom again after being transplanted into its (and our) new home, thus confining those fine memories of apricot summers to the few years of my life at our house on Mona Lisa Drive.
I like those memories. And so many memories of childhood. and summer. They make me feel warm and happy. They make me smile to myself 20 years and hundreds of miles away. I love that you never know when these reminiscences will strike. But that they are always beautiful and welcome and a little melancholy because you realize that those days are gone and there is no going back. And you miss it and want the freedom and innocence and simple joy of childhood. For me, the older I get the more I seem to long for those earlier days--"simpler times". And even though I love the ever expanding world of knowledge and possibilities around me, I still long to run carelessly around the backyard, knowing, always, that I had everything I needed to be safe and content, right where I was. It's nice to be taken care of.