Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Strawberry Vendor

Each Wednesday she set up her tables at the East End Farmer's Market. If she was early enough, which was her usual want, she got the best spot right under the big oak tree in the center of the market complex. She then would set up an amazing display of her berries- so many different sizes and kinds of strawberries, each with the sweet and distinct smell of red, ripe fruit, but each kind of berry with its' own distinct flavor.

Some of the berries were very large and plump, but with a tart and suprising taste, just right for eating. And some of the berries were smaller and just as plump, but with a solid center and a sweetness just right for canning so you did not have to add so much sugar to the recipie.

The vendor placed boxes of these lovely berries in tantilizing arrangements on her tables- some in boxes, some in large crates and some for a 'pick your own' mix. The children liked these- she loved the children and all the children who came to her tables were given some berries to savor and if there were any really hungry children, she would bring along some sandwiches and some beverages to make sure no one left hungry.

Because she also liked to watch and interact people, she was the first vendor to sell out of everything before noon when the market closed. She never had a deaf ear for her customers and always listened to them as they shared bits of their lives with her. Many times, all she could do was smile and give a hug for encouragement, but she also had time to speak in her still, small voice so folks leaned in to listen carefully to her words.

She remembered the man who had lost everything and gave him words to encourage him- he came back a year later to thank her and offered to lend a hand.

She remembered the child who was so vulnerable during a big upheaval in his life when his parents divorced- all she could do for this child was to hug him and say, 'I believe in you'.

The vendor remembered the woman who came to her booth, so very sure that she knew the one, true, right and only way a thing can be- and she watched the woman pick a box of berries that were very bright red, plump on the surface and of the solid kind. These were the ones that had to be used quickly or they would perish quickly and mold from the higher sugar content. Later, the vendor found that there was another box just like that one had some bad berries at the bottom and took it away.

The vendor hoped that the woman did not get bad berries and would perhaps bring the box back to her to exchange them instead of blaming her for selling bad berries- it was important to the vendor to make sure her offerings were of the finest kind, but she could not help it when people did not tell her there was a problem. In any case, this was a lesson for the woman to learn.
It was noon and the vendor used her cell phone to call a friend after she had torn down her tables and placed them in her vehicle- no berries left over today.

'Gabriel, have Michael and Raphael meet me at the archade in about an hour and half. I'm going for lunch and maybe play some games. Tell Uriel not to worry if I am a little late coming back through the Gates.'

'Certainly Sir- we'll be ready in an hour and a half. And Sir- knowing you like to play with the children, there's a group from a church camp also having lunch there and staying to play awhile.'

'Thank you Gabriel, that is my greatest joy.'
What if? Think about it......


Peggy said...

What a great post to ponder!

Betsy aka 'the goat yoda' said...

Thanks Peggy, the creative writing I've wanted to do has begun to pop up and make its' way into my blog-