Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Transaction of the Heart

By Belinda

It was Saturday morning, my favourite morning of the whole week. 

I always feel on Saturday mornings that the weekend is spread out before me like a great wealth of only loosely spoken for hours, which isn't really true as there are many things that I should be doing. But it feels as though I have a choice, and truly I do.

The first waking moments of a Saturday are delicious. Just coming to consciousness and remembering what day it is makes me happy. No need to rush at life!

But it was unusually dark as I opened my eyes last Saturday, and an ominous rumbling in the air and pattering on roof and window panes shouted, "Storm in progress!" The sound grew in intensity from rumbling to cannonball booming and the pattering turned into tapping as insistent as an impatient visitor. 

I padded downstairs thinking of the Bradford West Gwillimbury Farmers Market in the library parking lot, which I had hoped to visit that morning.

The storm ran its course eventually, although the sky remained resolutely gray, and in the late morning I set for out to see what the market had to offer.

I found a small, bedraggled, but determined encampment of tents set up on the south side of the parking lot. But if from a distance they were a sorry and soggy looking bunch of tents, underneath the canvas were cheerful, smiling and steadfast veggie vendors.

My eyes nearly popped at the first stall I stopped at. I have never seen such giant vegetables in my life. The radishes were the size of golf balls, big, red, round and bursting with freshness. I bought a bunch, and a romaine lettuce that was HUGE! I added a beautiful fresh cauliflower for Sunday dinner, and a zucchini and some lovely green onions--and a jar of rhubarb ginger jelly to put away as a precious gift for someone at Christmas. 

I circled the small market enjoying hearing the vendors' tales of arriving in the thunder storm at 7.00 am; of the waves of water that gushed over feet, leaving shoes soggy and squelching; of the struggle to set up the tents in the wind and the driving rain. And I was glad that I was there to buy!  My last purchase was some small yellow plums for Paul, and I was just heading to my car with my booty when out of my peripheral vision I saw a stall at the end of the row, with pies for sale.

I turned back in curiosity to check out the pie--being a pie maker myself you know. Two young women looking to be in their late twenties stood behind a wooden table laid with apple pies and cheese and onion pies.

"Would you like a drink of lemonade?" asked a small voice and I looked down to see an equally small, earnest girl of about five, with curly light brown hair tied back and wearing a prim blue and white apron.

I answered automatically but kindly, "Oh, no thank you Sweetie," thinking only of my dislike of sugary drinks and being unprepared for her reaction.

Her lower lip came out and her glance flew up with a question mark, to her mother, who quietly said, with a reassuring smile, "It's okay, not everyone will buy."

I felt like the biggest meanie in the world!

Of course I fished around for a dollar as fast as I could.

"Here you are Sweetie," I said, as the mom protested that I didn't have to, "I'll buy a lemonade--but I don't need one. You can give it to the next customer."

The little girl looked back to her mom, not understanding how this worked.

"Do I have to give them my dollar?" she asked.

"No, you keep the dollar," I said, "but they get the lemonade. It's called, 'paying it forward.'"

I left behind a slightly confused little business-girl in my wake. 

Not exactly a lesson in capitalism but she probably learned that a pout and a quivering lip will sell lemonade--and melt the most resolutely healthy heart!


Dave Hingsburger said...

Paying it forward is a great lesson to teach a child. Hopefully her parents will demonstrate that for her a couple of times so she understands it. These are the biggest lessons of childhood, I think.

Belinda said...

I'm glad I didn't ruin her for life! Ha ha!