Yesterday morning I arrived at the farmer’s market shortly after the opening bell. The Friday market goers were a bounty of humans buzzing around the flowers, fruit, and vegetables much like bees around a hive.
Despite being adverse to crowds, I was happy to be among them. Bee-like I hovered over the goods at Tom Koch’s stall, bending to the escarole bigger than my face, slipping a handful of mandarins into a bag, his red carrots too.
When it was my turn, Tom asked, “How are you?” with a twinkle in his blue eyes that belies his age. “Well,” I said. “And happy?” Tom pressed holding my gaze. “Yes,” came my effortless reply. “You?” I asked, “Are you well, too?” “Yes,” he said. Following his line of questioning, I continued, “And happy?” “I’m well,” said Tom. I raised my eyebrows but pressed no further. The line of people behind me let us leave it at that. Tom and I reached toward each other for a kiss. Bounty of joy and a hint of sorrow.
The hardest question I had to answer was, “What else will we eat?” And that’s what made me the happiest, that I get to ask the question. None other needed my momentary attention. Bounty was in the question itself: “What will we eat?” And “What flowers will light our home?”
Adding to the escarole and mandarins I carried home fava beans and radicchio, broccolini and pluots, cherries and calendulas, bachelor buttons and some flowers whose names I don’t know. Peppered bacon. Asparagus too. Bounty.