The most wonderful time of the year!
No, it isn't Christmas. I love Christmas, but I can't lie, I think that late summer is truly the very most wonderful time of the year. The farmer's market in my little town just started back up, and I went to it on Saturday for the first time this year. I felt like I was walking on air. If I go to Heaven after I die, it will be a farmer's market.
I talked to all the kind people selling honey, fresh bread, salsa, homemade tortilla chips, and so many fresh vegetables and fruits. One man gave me a nice sales pitch for the plums on his cart. I was already planning to buy them but he went on and on about how great they were, and he also begged me to come back next week when he will bring a different kind that will be even better. I promised him I would.
A woman was selling fresh herbs at her booth. She apologized for the basil being a little wilted but I assured her it would be perfect for the pesto I was planning to make. She put some bunches in a paper bag for me and as the aroma wafted over me it cast a spell. In that moment I realized I was in a complete state of peace and happiness. I felt like I might just fall on my knees, and hear the angel voices!
I went home and picked a few tomatoes from my backyard. I unpacked the little load of fresh goods I had bought at the market and whipped up a magical lunch for the kids and me.
Life gets out of control a lot. I have a lot on my plate right now on several fronts, but there's something about the simplicity of a lunch made of home grown foods that just makes everything feel okay. At Christmas time we run around like crazy people to throw a great big party to celebrate the birth of Jesus. In late summer I feel like I get to celebrate that his love is there every day. I feel loved by God when I smell basil. The warm morning sun on my face feels like a gentle kiss. I love all the people smiling, so excited to show me the miracles that came from their fields and yards. All the other dumb stuff just doesn't matter for a bit.
A lot of people set New Year's resolutions. It seems to make more sense to me, maybe because I'm a teacher and my kids are still young enough to go to school, to set goals in August instead. One of those goals involves me sharing more things with you here, because that's fun.
In honor of all the folks out there getting ready to start the carpools back up, I sat down for a minute and played one of my favorite tunes about driving. If you're Gen X like me, you'll recognize it right away. I did it in just a couple of takes, I didn't set up any fancy mics, and I didn't fuss much with camera angles. But I hope you enjoy this slice of a few stolen quiet moments I had upstairs in our loft to make it happen. Merry Summer and Happy New School Year!
P.S. The black stuff in the bowl in the first picture is an olive tapenade I made out of Kalamata olives, capers, fresh basil, garlic, lime, red pepper flakes and olive oil. It is heavenly on your favorite bread.