A Day At The Market

When the wind whistles through the trees, it soothes me. My favorite color is the green light of the sun shining through leaves. When I was a child, I could spend hours climbing them, playing amongst the plants. As an adult, a butterfly can still distract me for minutes unending. They flitter and flutter and convince me there is beauty in the world. A plant on my antique white desk moves with the sunlight. It moves so swiftly, for a plant, that I see it in a new position every time I look at it. Its green and purple leaves leave nothing to be desired. 

I woke up this morning, made a cup of lavender tea with a spot of honey, and went into my garden. I saw my cucumber plants growing well, though they bore no fruit. My next round of tomatoes were nearly ripe, though they are still green. My next round of lavender is so small, I hope it will survive the winter. My bees are the best in the state. Everyone knows it. I feed them lavender and rotating wildflowers, giving the sweet honey a light floral taste, and they love me for it. As best as bees can love, I suppose.

It was a Saturday. I went to the market that day to sell my honey. The air smelled of garlic and tarragon, basil and greens. I arrived at the field and unpacked my things. I put up my tent, which had been packed onto the roof of my car, took my things out of their cases and crates and arranged my items just so. All the different things I make out of honey were lined up in rows: face cream, face cleanser, spot treatment, lip balm, body lotion, tattoo livener, eyeliner and foot cream. I also sell tomatoes, basil and strawberries, in addition to raw honey. I expected a good turn out that day, since everyone knew it would be my last day at this farmer’s market. From now on I would be selling at a different, larger market a few towns over, every weekend.  

The first to arrive at my stall was my friend who works at the county clerk’s office. She is plump, with bright blue eyes, and always wears a floral dress on market days. We have weekly outings, the two of us and another friend. She came by to purchase some face cleanser and face cream. The stuffy office she spends all day inside of had clogged her pores with dust. She told me about a man who had recently come to town after inheriting the largest produce farm inside city limits. He planned on dividing it and selling the parcels. After telling me she had recommended my stall to a friend’s daughter, she went on her way to enjoy the rest of the market. 

I was then visited by the very teenager my friend had referred to me. She walked up to my stall with a masculine canter, wearing baggy jeans and a band t-shirt; a band I did not know. Her eyebrows were furled as she told me she was having trouble with her skin and was looking for any kind of solution. I gave her samples of my face cream, spot treatment and face cleanser and she thanked me with gusto before going on her way. She also asked for a sample of my tattoo livener, but I had nothing so small of it. As she left, I thought of how the school also relied on that farm for produce; that they, the restaurants and the grocers would all lose out on their super-local supply chain if the farm was closed down. The entire town depended on this farm.

Following the teenager, an elderly woman came up to my stall. He hair was rather large, and fuzzy, untamed and frizzy. She wears silk dresses that are quite revealing for an elderly lady. She always smells of onions, and smiles on one side in a crooked manner. She usually buys foot cream and basil, and today was no different. She told me she too had heard about the parceling of the largest farm, and was disappointed. Her son, who owns a restaurant in town and buys my honey for his desserts, calculated that the increase in cost would mean possibly letting one of his cooks go. They repercussions of such a sale would have so many bad ripples; the inheritor of the farm must be made aware of this.

The next person to arrive at my stall is a local gossipy woman who owns a bakery. Her hair is straight and silky and she usually wears a sweatsuit to the market. She is rarely alone, but on this day she was, so she was more apt to gossip with stall owners. She told me that the old man who ran the largest farm had recently died, and that she knew the perfect person to manage his farm. Her niece had recently managed a farm two states over. She had left because they wouldn’t give her a raise, and she was looking for similar work. I thought to myself, it would be perfect to introduce the inheritor to such a woman, the two who were the subject of gossip today, so that the largest farm would not be split up, and the local restaurants, schools and grocers would not lose their super-local supply chain. Before leaving my stall, the woman said she would send her niece to my stall by the end of the day, so she could pick up her case of honey, which she purchased monthly. 

Later that day, my other dearest friend visited my stall. She has an athletic build and always smells of roses. Her hair is usually in a tight bun, since she does ballet before the market. She also enjoys hiking, which we do together on Sundays. She usually purchases body lotion and tattoo livener, as she did that day. We were talking of all I had learned about the new developments in town. We also arranged to change our usually hiking day, since I would be spending Saturdays and Sundays at a new market.  She hugged and kissed me good bye and went on her way. 

The last visitor at my stall was a man I did not recognize. He wore a black and sleek pinstripe suit. He had dusty brown hair, green eyes and a glistening smile. He asked about my honey, the process I used and the flowers I feed to them. As I told him these things, it occurred to me that he might be the inheritor, since I usually recognized everyone at the market. I asked him if he was, and he replied that it was true. I told him I knew of a woman who could manage his farm. I pleaded the case of the entire town, and told him of all the negative repercussions should he sell his farm. He was pleased to hear there was another option, and was sorry if he couldn’t save it. He wanted to keep the farm whole, but he didn’t know what to do. I told him to wait around a bit longer and he would be able to meet the potential manager. While he waited, he bought tomatoes and a jar of honey. 

Not long after that, the woman’s niece who is the potential manager came up to my stall. She wore overalls and a smooth t-shirt underneath. Her curly black hair dangled in the sunlight, and she smelled of sweet corn and sweet potatoes. I introduced the two of them and told them all about their potential to work together. I told them a baker had recommended the young woman, and that this man was open to doing what he could to save the farm. They both cared about doing well for the town. They exchanged numbers and seemed optimistic about their future.  

With my job done, I packed up my stall. I put my honey-based things back in their cases: the face lotion, face cleanser, spot treatment, lip balm, body lotion, tattoo livener, eyeliner and foot cream. I put my produce back in its crates: the tomatoes, basil and strawberries. I took down my tent and folded it up and returned it to the roof of my car. I drove home with a smile on my face.

At the end of the day, as I sat in my garden, drinking my lavender tea with a drop of my honey, surrounded by butterflies and green leaves once again, I felt rather successful. Not only had I sold a bit of everything in my inventory and kept a lively stream of visitors to my stall, but I had solved a larger problem that weighed on the entire town. Who knows: if I hadn’t been there that day, maybe those two would never have met.