Every spring, all over the midwest I imagine, the back roads explode with a froth of white blossoms on thorny limbs. The wild plum is a angry shaped little tree, misshapen...with black bark and up to 2 inch thorns. But between late April and early May it yields the sweetest fragrance.
Plunging my face briefly in its blossoms becomes an olfactory time machine. It can transport me back to 447 Market Street like nothing else. To a place before there was grown up heartaches and empty nests and financial worry and creaky joints. There is just me and my mom and dad, my little brother and peach colored cat in a bubble of safe naivety.
That may be one of the reasons that at each summer's end I seek out the small, red fruit to put up into jam. Come August I'll be arm wrestling the birds and ants and the thorns.