What's nice is the raspberries eaten right off the bush in the backyard. A gift during the lockdown. Was that only three years ago? Now the plant's taken over a corner of the yard. A fresh crop of berries every morning, every night.
Before the smoke rolled in, we went on a garden tour in our neighborhood. Nine houses and every yard is a surprise. Some of these houses I walk by every day with the dog, and who knew what they had growing behind the backyard fences.
There's a brochure with a description of each garden. One of the entries says: “A special treat this year— the giant fennel (Ferula communis glauca) is preparing to bloom, a rare occurrence three years in the making."
Of course, we cannot miss this! But when we shuffle into the yard, we find that we have missed it. Apparently the Ferula communis glauca bloomed a few weeks ago. The resident gardener excitedly shows me a picture on his phone. It's lovely. All of the gardens on the tour are.
I want to rush home and do something with my plants. It's hot, though, and I'm not quite recovered from my surgery. I'll get to it later in the week, I tell myself. But then the smoke settles in. When does life go back to normal? What if this is normal now?
Back to work at the library, and just to be on the safe side, the Blowing Bubbles in the Park program has been moved indoors. In no time the youth department is overflowing with bubbles and children, and I am surprised by joy. We humans can adapt to anything.
Today the smoke is gone. The thick haze means what it has always meant: a thunderstorm. When it's over, I take a quick walk with the dog, gulping big breaths of fresh air. We sidestep puddles into the backyard so I can doublecheck the progress of my own garden.
It’s so much greener and lusher than a week ago. The raspberries, sweet and cool and tasting of rain.