Sol and I took a short jaunt downtown on Saturday morning to the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market [one of my most favorite places].
Oh, what a wonderful environment...
Head to the grocery store, and people are there because they have a "to-do" list, they're obligated to be there. But head to a Farmers' Market, and people are there because they want to be there. Every shopper at the Farmers' Market has been given a choice: buy from the store, or buy from the Market. The Market patrons have chosen an experience over an obligation. They're eager to interact with one another, to greet strangers as if they were old friends. They long to lounge on the cool grass with some newly-purchased treat, humming along to some acoustic melody. Here at the Market, they can forget the cares of their modern lives and drink in the intoxicating nostalgia that flows through the open air. In our hurried modern world, it's refreshing to break away from the norm on a Saturday morning and step back into the world of the open-air market.
We stopped at every booth, greeting the farmers and vendors, and offering a laughing "thank-you" to everyone who commented on her cheeks. Sol was happy, her head on a swivel, as we were surrounded by the most appealing vegetables ever witnessed by a May-time Michigander. You know, the sort of veggies whose existence has been forgotten over a long winter. These vegetables call out to you from their plump, shiny bodies, begging you to take them home to be washed, sliced, and grilled; offering themselves as an homage to the onset of summer, as a welcome to The Sunny Side of Michigan.
Obviously we bought some veggies.
But we also stopped by the booth of Chef Zia Bakery, who was selling the most scrumptious-looking vegan desserts... muffins and cookies and scones, oh my :) Of course we had to snag a lemon-lavender shortbread cookie (I mean, come on... lemon-lavender? How could I pass that up?). Cookie in hand, we headed over to the grassy knoll in the center of the market, where two chaps were picking away at their guitars and singing the most delightfully folksy tunes. We lounged there, my daughter and I, in the heat of the late-May sun. Leaning back against a pot of flowers, I savored every last morsel of my cookie, a fusion of savory lavender and tart lemon, a yin and yang of smooth and crisp, a rare and fixed moment where lemon meets lavender: a combination that shouldn't work, but yet, somehow, it blends to perfection. I watched little Sol bounce to the music, enjoying fistfuls of herbal shortbread, and I thought back to every time I worried that a life with her could never work, that life with her was the wrong choice. And as we sat there in the center of the market, surrounded by the most wonderful chaos, it was clear that this life with her is exactly as it should be.