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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grey to Color, Quiet to Busy to Quiet

Summer. Michigan. Early morning sky before sunrise, no longer dark with night, shows a few sparse, low clouds in the east as the first song sparrow wakes to sing, and a small breeze stirs bedsheets hung the night before on the line. (In the coming hours they will dry in the sun.) Inside the house I can see to walk around without lamps but need more light to make the coffee and put away clean plates from last night’s dinner as the small breeze insinuates itself through window screens, mixing outdoors with indoors: moving air and birdsong, but lamplight and wood floors, this is the early summer morning, open windows inviting the outdoors in. We have slept with sounds of night in the freshening air, as if we were tent camping in the woods, and now we wake slowly to the slowly waking world of meadow and forest edge. The house is as still as an old sepia-toned photograph, holding itself motionless, all its objects holding their breath, so that the only indoor sounds of life are breathing and brewing coffee, the more compelling notes calling through the windows from the world outside, “Come out! Come out! Come out!” Later, in sunlight, all the world will be awake and hurrying through the day. Now is the sweet, small hour, still within and beginning so gently to stir without, the hour that can be one’s own to walk in silently and gratefully. “Come out! Come out! Come out!”

Later I arrive in Northport to find the sky clouded over but town bustling with activity. Besides all the boats in the harbor, Friday is farm market day.





Of all the many things George Anderson has done for his community, this is by far my favorite. “May I take your picture?” He was happy to oblige.


I shared a few small bites of croissant with Sarah, but she was still happy to rummage around in the bottom of the bag for crumbs.


The sky cleared, the sun came out, and everyone was happy. It was a busy day in the bookstore with customers and friends--overlapping categories, I’m happy to say—and a lovely evening at home at the end of the day.



10 comments:

torchlakeviews said...

Isn't it good to just ease into the day? I used to spend my mornings dashing around, cranky before I was even awake. No more. Never again.

Those farm market photos are beautiful. I shop at individual stands a lot, and forget how much fun it would be to "go into town on market day." (I harbor a secret desire to organize a farm market in Eastport, but I don't think I have the energy to do that.)

P. J. Grath said...

Gerry, do you know any young, energetic vegetable growers who might get together a farm market in Eastport? Of course, you have so many more farm stands in your county that a central market probably isn't as necessary, though the FUN of seeing everyone at the market on Market Day can't be beat.

Don't you just love those cabbages in the back of the pickup truck? I do one sweep through the market with my shopping bag, then a second with my camera. Love it!

Deborah said...

Our journey to the Capitol City Farmer's Market in Springfield was both the opportunity to shop for local produce and to let little Bosco enjoy the opportunity to be out and about with other dogs who, like Sarah, were enjoying crumbs of food. Farmer's markets are wonderful, especially for those of who aren't very good summer farmers.

P. J. Grath said...

So, did you get corn or not, Deborah? I looked at my picture again and see it's corn spilling out of the truck, with one cabbage posed in front. But beautiful, all of it.

upwoods said...

I love your writing in the first paragraph, so sense-filled, so in the moment, brimming with presence. Picturing the bedsheets on the line, the smell of fresh air, the stillness of a sepia-toned photograph. Lovely! (And so many of your photos, as well...)

P. J. Grath said...

Thanks, Kathy--and thanks for "stopping by."

Maiya Willits said...

I actually quit our CSA farm deliveries this year, largely because I had so much produce that I didn't need to (and therefore didn't) visit the farmer's market. This year I'm happy to be back among the magical stalls and crowds and color of market day. And in the Mpls-St. Paul area, we're lucky enough to have that be pretty much any day, depending on which neighborhood and which market you choose.

P. J. Grath said...

Maiya, I think at least one of the vendors at our market does it both ways. I mean, I buy what I want on Market Day from what he has, but I've noticed someone else seems to be working against a "draw." That is, she must have paid a certain amount at the beginning of the season, and he deducts each week according to what she gets at the market. Good system, if the grower/seller doesn't mind keeping track of individual accounts.

Dawn said...

Wonderful photos! Reminds me I need to visit a farmers' market down here.

P. J. Grath said...

It's become routine to me now, though still a highlight of the week. Friday morning the cooler goes with me to Northport!