Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Afternoon: Picnic in the Mountains

The plan was simple really, just try to make it out of the city. The pouring sheets of rain and the towering buildings and afternoons cooped up inside were making me antsy. But it's never quite that easy is it? Pounding traffic, honking horns, side streets and one-way lanes, it took us over an hour but we finally found a mountain pass and grabbed it like starving fools. The roads were barely wide enough for the van and streams of underground creeks washed down loose rock and debris on top of us. With nervous eye Xi'an looked out one window for falling landslides, and I kept both mine on the road for oncoming bicycles and old farmers cutting down fruit. I admit, it was a little reckless, but I had this notion of sitting in a rice field with my daughter, just losing ourselves in the tall grass with a light picnic. Hiding out, maybe even catching a rain shower under an umbrella, just letting it pour down on top of us while we nibbled graham crackers and watched the lightning strike over the sky, counting seconds for the thunder to crack.
But a Sunday afternoon is never how you plan it.
We ended up high above the city beside a river on hot stones, not talking because who wants to go louder than screaming crickets. We climbed trees, fed some abandoned puppies, laid on our backs and ate bananas. Then Xi'an wanted to go home. She missed Rebekah, who didn't come because I wouldn't let her bring her bike.
I'm going to find that rice field though, before the monsoons hit. Then again, a monsoon sounds perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Don't you think?

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