I don’t really “dream big.” I don’t want to be famous or anything. I don’t want “the best” this or “the most perfect” that. What I do want is to be able to stroll a farmers’ market all by myself, for as long and leisurely as I want.

I admit I’ve been drinking the farmers’ market (locally roasted) coffee for years now. I am on board with crunchy, heirloom-varieted locavorism. If it were convenient, I would be at the market every week chatting up all the produce vendors with provocatively sexy questions like, “What type of irrigation system do you use on your delicious Sun Gold tomatoes?” Every time I go to the market, I frolic in a happy, (boarding on giddy) haze of salsa samples and ukelele music and popsicles. (There better be popsicles.) And everything I eat (including the sticky-sweet-crunchy-still-warm kettle corn) is “healthy” because someone made it with their own tireless hands.

The only thing that dampens my enthusiasm is that I can’t just show up. I have to coordinate. I have to have a “market buddy.” Procuring a market buddy (especially if one is difficult to procure), can sometimes take the whimsy out of my sails. If I do manage to procure a buddy, I seem to turn into the world’s worst nag.
Buddy: (as we stroll leisurely): “And let’s see, there’s bread at this place.” (buddy keeps walking)
Me: “Wait wait wait wait. What bread?”
Buddy: “Oh, you know, white, wheat. There were some baguettes maybe. Sourdough?”
Me: “Well we have to go back and look.”
Then, I am ashamed to say, I proceed to make everyone miserable by wanting to know every last option ever offered at a farmers’ market bread stall. Ever.

I am this way with jam. I am this way with salsa. I am this way with pickles, produce, popsicles, pie, and possibilities. I want them all. I want to mull over everything. I want the leisure and the space to look and look and look and ponder, and even go home if that’s all my ponderings get for a day.

When I have a buddy, through (mostly) no fault of the buddy, I can’t do that as much. It gets crowded. People want to have an agenda, get it done, and leave. I want to have no agenda and just see what the weekly offerings inspire me to want to cook. I want to stay for hours. I want to buy all my things, and then maybe an omelette and iced coffee and sit in the sun and read or listen to people or both. I want to get so comfortable that I take off my shoes.

And when I’m done, I want to get up and buy the last, tiny leftover bouquet from a flower vendor with the change in my pocket and walk the mile home with my bags and my dog. On my own terms. Having never wasted or hurried a moment.

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3 thoughts on “Big Dreams

  1. Lauren,
    Your writing is beautiful, wiser, more lyrical and complex than before. The tone is yearning, and so more accessible to the reader and less antagonistic. I really like this piece because it helps me enter the market both as you experience it and as I would experience being with you. It gently teaches the reader how to be with someone fully in the moment. Thanks.

  2. This blog post seriously makes me want to take a visit to your town and go with you to the market, as we did only once to the Mercado Central in Minneapolis several years ago. One of my regrets is that we never did that again. Obviously, my loss, as your blog makes it obvious how fun it is to go to the market with you! Remember those yummier-than-ever-found-in-the-U.S.A freshly made tortillas we each took home? Yum!

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