Shadow

It began with going to the farmers’ market down by the water.

The purple kohlrabi that had split while growing and bore the connective scars smoothly and evenly between its three, four, even five, sections. The dark earth that freckled the shiny tight onions I picked up simply because they were beautiful. A handful, no…another half-a-hand…of yellow beans tipped in soft, pale green threads. The floating current of spices from the pakora vendor in the corner that braids together with lavender and the warm hint of yeast. Picking apples by reading the descriptions and then selecting each individual edible mosaic of colour, texture, flavour, juice…all the while knowing that soon my favourites would be there—but not yet. The waiting is part of the joy. The coffee purveyor and his friendly patter about the virtues of roasting at home. The coffee vendor who explained “Cash only—is that okay? Our tech crashed but the coffee’s great!” The dense and sustaining goodness of my cortado, enjoyed outside in an Adirondack chair; the Steampunk view of the grain elevators and the water leading to open harbor if you crane your neck to the left.

And picked up again when walking through the Public Gardens after unloading from the Market and watering the plants on the front deck.

I hit the timing perfectly as far as the light went. There were patterns upon patterns and textures and colours and sounds…and somehow, the light played into all of this. The thin breeze of a violin being played in the family gathering area that made its way to the benches near the bandshell. The dew that bejeweled a feather caught in grass. The way that rose scent came and went with the breathing of the wind.

The conversation with the woman at the vegetable garden who was looking for the eggplant she had come to photograph only to find that it had been harvested. We spoke of the light, the beauty of contours and colours, the goodness of this space, the pandemic, and the aesthetics of the Farmers’ Market. We thanked each other for the encounter and wished each other well. I kept noticing shadows, too…path patterns made by branch, leaf, canopy, wrought iron, history, wind, and time. Sometimes they are seen, sometimes not…it depends on the light and what I notice.

Somehow, I think we have these shadows within us, too…shadows left as reminders of what the senses have taken in, the art of the experience of making one’s way through the day.

Sometimes they sound like sighs; sometimes they look like words.

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