Yellow, red and purple - such are the colors of the wild plums this summer, which are growing in spectacular abundance. There were almost none last year, but I've learned that each year is unique, and that trees, in particular wild ones, don't produce consistently. One year there may be an extraordinary production of figs (as it was the case last summer) or plums (this summer), and the following year - and maybe the year after - these same trees may produce almost nothing. Why? I can't tell, but I like to think that trees know how to do things with care, at a slow pace: they save up for a few seasons to produce spectacular fruits, and then take a rest.
The yellow, red and purple plums that adorn our woods like little cheerful lanterns were not overlooked by nonno, during a visit my parents paid us recently. He spotted something, and then got up from the chair in the garden with surprising speed, asked Rebecca to get a basket, and climbed up the steep and slippery hill - disregarding his 80+ years, his knees weakened from surgery, the brambles, and his daughter's anxious concern (I did manage to get him to bring one of the tomato canes in lieu of a walking stick, though, and he was glad for it).
From down below, I watched my father and my daughter forage together wild plums: he reaching up to the taller branches, she filling and carrying the basket, over and over.
They came back with abundant booty. Then nonno sat down to take a rest, and asked "Shall we bake a plum tart?"
And I did.