Monday, August 17, 2009

Farmers Market 10 to 2

Hot sun on low canvas and plastic roofs
faint breeze
snaking around tent poles
Tomatoes firm and ripe
fragrant red and green heirloom scents
blending with fresh-baked bread and pastries
onions and garlic
soil still clinging
perfume stalls of corn, zucchini and wildflowers
snapdragons and dill
A fiddler stomps in time to his tune
and little children roll and giggle in the grass
a long-haired dachshund and a big rangy mutt
eye one another
across the Maori man's stone jewelry booth
My heart is as light as the clouds
in the bright blue sky

Morning Walk

The path to the theatre runs along a little country road. My artist’s loft – with its gabled roof, deep window seats, claw-foot tub, and eclectic stack of records – sits around a bend on the way up the mountain. This morning, as I walk down, the mist is just starting to burn off. The delicate violet morning-glories are awake and fanned wide, drinking in the sun that peeks through the spaces in the clouds clinging to the mountain. The fields on either side of the road – full of sweet round red clover, spikes of violent red-orange Devil’s Paintbrush, and frothy white saucers of Queen Anne’s Lace swaying on their long stalks – are alive with gentle bird sounds, the rustling of little animals and the hum of insects. A small gray vole lies curled on its side by the gravel edge, dead, perhaps by the paw and jaw of a cat.

There is a pond on the way down the road. It’s fed by a little stream which runs through a culvert under the street. On one side of the road – shaded to hidden darkness by maple, ash and dogwood – the stream gurgles and rushes over a low rocky bed of native marble. On the other, the pond spreads out, encircled by tall handsome spruces and a few slender white birches. Lilies float on its dark still surface and a Great Blue Heron stands like an old man – stoop-shouldered in his dark-gray overcoat – among the reeds and cattails on its marshy edge.

This is the time of year and the wet soil in which to find jewelweed (sometimes called the Touch-Me-Not), a favorite of mine. Its delicate coronet flowers of vibrant yellow and orange call to me from the tangle of weeds running along the side of the road. Crouching down, I find the seed pods eagerly, anticipating the nostalgic and visceral joy of releasing the seeds within. The little insect-green pods are distended, ripe with potential energy. My fingertips tingle as I pinch the seed pods gently and they spring apart – banana-peel sections instantly curling up like little ringlets, the tiny seeds flying out to sink into the soil and wait to grow. Such pleasure I get from a small trick of genetic dispersal!