Sunday, August 03, 2008

americana

Every Saturday morning M and I walk to Farmer's Market, she on her bike and me with my pack. We talk along the way about things we want to buy, she always wants the same two things and my list varies depending on what's in season. Last weekend was the last of the asparagus, freesias were only here for a week or two but the summer fruit is bursting at the seams and the corn guy will be here for another month at least. Today we had a long list, squash and cauliflower, corn and basil, onions and peppers and all sorts of fruit. It's the food I crave but it's also the people, just being there often equals what we take away.

I see the older Mexican couple who man the strawberry table every single week. They love M but then again they love all the kids, they are always handing out samples and adding more berries to our baskets and talking to each other Linda, Querida, Bonita with smiles whenever M stops by. Today she ran over when I was still at the squash booth and made off with a basket of raspberries, I looked over and they are laughing and smiling as she's stealing them blind. The cookie lady isn't quite so agreeable, M must make her request with as much politeness as possible Please may I have a cookie? or the lady schools her on her manners while quite pointedly looking at me. Good thing her cookies are perfect, this time they met in the middle and agreed that Please can I have a cookie will do and I bite my tongue every week because she reminds me of an older version of Mary Poppins and for some reason that makes me want to please her too.

Women glide past in saris, the peaches and blues and greens are sublime and I want to reach out and touch them but I smile instead. The ladies with funky vegetable carrying contraptions never fail to cut us off mid stride and the old folks walk too slow and the parents are always distracted with their kids and there are at least 10 different languages being spoken at once. There is always music and once a month it's our friend with his afro-caribbean reggae goodness. Whenever he sees M he stops mid-song and calls out her name and gives her a kiss and we stop and dance and sing along. Today the old guy singing blues was there and the kids were dancing all over the place irregardless of the beat which made him mess up his song a couple of times because he couldn't help but laugh at them falling all over the place dancing like it's the Stones instead of Coltrane.

The sun is shining and tails are wagging and everywhere you look people are using reusable bags. The coffee house is jumping, the falafel guy has a line several people deep and the folks manning the Obama table get all kinds of cheers and waves and grins.

And every week after our pack is full and our money is gone we sit for awhile as M eats her cookie and I lean back into the sun and think to myself that there is no perfect moment more perfect than this.

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32 comments:

hele said...

Sister you will be happy wherever you go. Because you love and appreciate life so much that it makes me catch my breath at the simple beauty of it all the way over here*

I look forward to laughing across a glass of beer with you one day. I really, really do.

kristen said...

this is lovely. my towns farmers market is tomorrow - i can't wait.

Little Monkies said...

Our country is no more beautiful in these moments and a balance to the challenges we see every day. Community in these moments feels like an indulgence, yet it's all around us in common spaces when they are constructed as this farmer's market is. How have we moved so far away from the things our elders took for granted? Dancing, buying from someone we know, gathering together, loving children? Sigh. I'm gonna miss you, mama.

Pgoodness said...

sounds perfect to me!

TZT said...

Now I'm hungry for cucumbers and tomatoes.

Around here, the best thing about August is the harvest.

Kyla said...

That sounds lovely.

marymurtz said...

Our farmer's market has ladies selling crafts, and people selling local honey, a guy that sells sausage and catfish, and tons and tons of veggies. They stopped allowing people to bring their dogs, which is kind of a shame, because there was a basset hound we loved, but it's all good.

I loved this post.

Julie Pippert said...

Perfect, yes, just enjoying where you are and all that is around you and being there, right there.

CDJ said...

Now that's a perfect way to spend the morning. I have introduced my boy to the Farmer's Market this year and he just loves it. And oh I hope the corn supply lasts longer thana month... it's so good this year!

Omaha Mama said...

That does sound wonderful and is exactly what I was hoping for this summer. We only made it over once...
Where did my summer go?
You've inspired me though, I think we'll make the trek downtown to the city's big farmer's market next weekend.
:0)

QT said...

amen~

Carol said...

Sounds wonderful! I love farmer's markets! Found you via The Verge -- and glad I did!

Carol

flutter said...

Now that I have some time off, I think I am going to find our farmer's market. I need some connectivity.

Your M is delicious.

Hetha said...

The community I just left is known as one of the top farmer's markets in our state. Your post brought back those colors, the smells, the music, the friendships. But not the different languages being spoken :-)

Maggie, Dammit said...

Perfect, indeed.

I feel like I was there. More importantly, I feel like I want to be there.

Magpie said...

beautiful. i love the little negotiations, the interactions, the ritual of it all.

meno said...

Farmer's markets are the perfect example of something that is RIGHT in this country.

meno said...

Maybe i should have used the word GOOD instead of right. :)

alejna said...

That sounds so wonderful. I love it that you can walk there. I have yet to find a convenient farmer's market. Somehow, living out in the country, I have to drive to more urban areas to find such things.

But what you describe is the kind of Americana I can really get behind.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, I needed that visit to the farmer's market. We've had so much produce out of our own garden this year that we haven't yet visited our market--unheard of! So thanks for taking me there.

Tabba said...

i felt like i was there with you.

i wish our state had a farmer's market like that.

Beck said...

I would love to be walking by those tables with you guys - it sounds like a perfect, perfect day.

Amy Y said...

Oh what a perfect picture you paint!

We have not frequented the farmer's market enough this year... the closest one is 25 miles away so we try to schedule a time to go when we have other errands to run in the neighborhood. But oh, what a treat when we do make it!

crazymumma said...

It's the people watching I love the most. I can see so much thru your eyes.

Defiantmuse said...

I always feel that way when we go to the farmer's market...lighter....happier....more connected....

Ally said...

Jen, you've captured so perfectly the goodness that is the farmer's market. I loved this post.

mamatulip said...

Wow. This is so perfectly bang-on. I love the market - and this post.

Momish said...

Indeed! The farmer's market is a great place to regain your faith in humanity. I loved this post and hearing such optimism and beauty in your voice. (also, it doesn't surprise me that M is more or less famous around your parts!)

yertle said...

So perfectly captures the beauty of Farmers Market. I look forward to mine on Thursday.

ms chica said...

You completely captured the reasons I prefer the farmer's market to the grocery.

Expatriate Chef said...

Amen. That's just how it is. How did we ever stray from this perfection? And thank heaven we are all reconnecting!

bgirl said...

i love how you captured a scene from your day here. the sights, sounds, smells, tastes.

and i'm pleased to read you too give in on the must-have market cookie!