Less than twenty minutes was left before the farmer’s market would close and I needed to eggs, mushrooms and veggies, and fruit to freeze and turn into ice cream with my old Champion juicer. As I drove, my brain quickly calculated how much it would cost. It didn’t take long to realize that I didn’t have enough cash with me. Thankfully there was an ATM at a near the market.
There was not much time until the market closed, and I might not make it in time. I quickly erased the thought from my mind, determined that this was NOT going to happen. There in front of me was the bank, and I pulled over the car and stopped. I reached into my purse to get out my debit card. It wasn’t there. Oh no! I left it on the kitchen table or in my brand new wallet. So there was no point in getting out of the car and walking over to the ATM.
I started the car up again and drove. Good news, bad news. The good news was that I would be on time. The bad news was that I couldn’t purchase all the food that I needed. Oh well, not the worst that could have happened. Be grateful that there was quality organic fruits and veggies near me.
Pay Back Debt
One parking space was available on a side street, three minutes from the market. No time was wasted getting out of the car and opening up the car trunk to get out the plastic bags and empty egg cartons. The first stop was the farmer who had the eggs. I owed her thirty dollars and the debt needed to be paid before purchases would be made. ” I need more eggs if you have them” I told her. She had plenty and was happy to accommodate my request for two dozen eggs and offered me a “deal” to get rid of the eggs. The transaction happened quickly so that I could move on to the three booths that had the food I needed.
I picked up my pace and walked quickly to the table with the cactus, tomatillos, okra, tomatoes and string beans. “Where you been asked the woman standing behind the table?” There wasn’t time to talk, but there wasn’t time to be rude either so I told her. “I left my spiritual center late this morning.” I said as I gathered and bagged the produce. I paid her and was left with six dollars which would be used to purchase mushrooms.
I didn’t have far to go to get them. They were right behind me and within a few feet. “Good to see you and thank you for coming” said the kind farmer. She often thanked me, and I wondered if perhaps I need to thank her for being so kind and aware of not only her food but her keen sense of human beings. Without knowing it, she has been a teacher, helping my mind stretch and reach for new possibilities.
I put the money on the table and asked her for five dollars worth. She wanted to know if this was all that I needed. “No but it is all the money that I have. I couldn’t stop at the bank because I left my card at home. ” Then she asked me if I needed some greens and pointed to Chinese celery and some other greens that I use but couldn’t tell anyone what they are called. Why is she asking me when I just told her that I only have enough for some mushrooms? She instructed me to pick them and pay her later. (Other farmers had done this on occasion so I wasn’t shocked at the offer.)
“Do you need more mushrooms?” she inquired. Well, since she was asking, yes I did and she gave me more, enough to last a week. I was ready for her to tell me what I owed her, and she did. Something extraordinary happened. She wanted to know if I had more shopping to do. When I told her that I did, she reached into her till box with money and handed me $26 and told me to pay her $40 next week or the next time that I came back. She pointed in the direction of my heart and told me not to put it there. I translated her gesture to mean not to worry.
Did That Really Happen?
I was so speechless that I couldn’t talk. Did that really happen? Wow. How touching. I was still moved and in some altered place when I found my way to the vendor who sold kale, beets and kohlrabi. I told her the story, and she smiled and said that the farmers reach out to help each other and customers. “You are here all the time” and they know she told me. Yes that might be true but I was handed money to purchase more food. How often does that happen?
My time was running out and I needed to buy oranges and avocados. The vendor was a few feet away and I bought a bag of oranges and paid for six avocados. As I placed the avocados into a bag, another one was tossed in. ” Here. Have one more for guacamole” said the seller. Another act of kindness.
I couldn’t carry everything to the car and this last vendor offered to help me. He grabbed two bags of food and walked with me. I told him the story of the money that was handed to me. He looked at me and said ” We have to learn to trust people.” There wasn’t much to say in reply. Suddenly it occurred to me that I didn’t know the name of this man. I asked. With a smile he said “David “and I couldn’t help notice that he was beautiful on the inside and outside. Thanks David.