Cheap Promises

Date : early May
Location : Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market by Zingermans Deli and Kerrytown.

even though there is still a cold nip in the air, nothing that your warm fleecy sweater can’t easily combat, the sun is high in the sky and bright and nary a cloud marks its course through the day. it is finally spring in michigan. the birds know it. the bees know it. and the dandelions most certainly know it.

the market is teeming with people and produce. being that today might be the first “real” day of spring, the color in the market comes from the flowers that are for sale. the produce is all green, because the leaves need nothing more than a little bit of warmth, a little bit of sunshine and a little bit of love to grow quickly and become large enough to be cut and brought to market. the peppers and brinjals and onions and cauliflower and tomatoes need time which the season has yet to give them. but they will come. yes, indeed, they will come.

oh. but the greens. spinach arugula lettuce mustard sorrel peashoots. a thousand colors and a thousand shapes. some frilly and riotous, others placid and broad. yet others diminutive and delicate so you have the urge to stroke them gently before you pop them in your mouth, eagerly anticipating the sweet juice they will give up as you chew. and the colors! the playful translucence of the baby new leaves, the mature flat wrinkly green of new spinach that like some of us, is born old, the spiky bright of arugula that warns you of its hidden spiciness, the plump green-ness of peashoots, as irresistible as the earlobes of newborn babies. oh. the greens.

the flowers are riotous and glorious, colourful princess in their pretty ball gowns, demanding your attention, but it is the greens that win my heart. just as beautiful and also capable of nourishing more than just your soul.

and everywhere today, in just about every stall, there are promises being sold in little black plastic containers. seedlings of your future garden. thoughtfully planted and nurtured by someone who was thinking of love and spring and sunlight while you still whined about the dark and the cold. they now generously offer you these promises that they made, for a mere $1.50 a promise, so that you can happily buy them as you imagine being in your garden in late july in your shorts and sandals harvesting juicy red tomatoes for your dinner.

a mere $1.50 for a little promise that someone sowed for you when you were too tired and cold and lacking in imagination. a mere $1.50 for the seedling of a dream that you can plant in the soil to nurture and watch it grow. a mere $1.50 for a basketful of tomatoes that you will pop into your mouth, sticky juices exploding and dribbling down your chin as the sun happily bakes your skin to a luscious brown ripeness.

a mere $1.50 for a promise and a dream. go and get yours today.