I am five. It is the first year I have been allowed to go on holidays with my parents, and we have driven across four provinces to visit Grandma (whom I have missed every day since they moved from Manitoba) and Grandpa (who is sometimes cross).
We are out touring, seeing the valleys and the orchards, marvelling at the mountains. It is getting on in the day, and the light has begun to change colour. It must be ninety degrees, the grown ups have said, and isn’t it hot, they have asked one another, then murmured in agreement.
Grandma and I are sitting together on the passenger side in the back seat. The world flies past outside the car, and stands still inside it. Grandma shows me how to properly experience the peaches we bought at a roadside stand, peaches larger than both my fists together. She shows me how to brush them against my face, and feel their velvety sun-warmth before I bite through their skins. Peach juice runs down our hands, our wrists, our arms, and we lick it off ourselves and off each other's elbows. What we aren’t licking, we wipe away with Kleenex because we can’t keep up, the peaches are so juicy. We are shaking with the effort of muffling our giggles, our sight blurs with tears of silent laughter. We are being as quiet as we can be so Grandpa doesn't notice us, see the mess we are making of ourselves, and get cross.
The window is open and Grandma's hair dances around her temples. The evening light has made her cheeks the colour of our peaches. I lay my head against her chest and look up to see the slanting rays have illuminated the fine hairs on her face, creating a delicate halo.
The peaches are Grandma, Grandma is the peaches.
We are sticky and full to the top, and we smell as sweet as summertime. Grandma smiles and closes her eyes against the sun, and so do I.
This moment never, ever ends....