Summer in California explodes at the seams with fruit and veggies. Farmer’s Markets buzz with local chatter usually accompanied by a live bluegrass band of some kind, and people of all ages come together to make the experience of buying food, a communal one. Call me a cheapskate, but I love to fill myself up on free samples as I meander dreamy-eyed from tent to tent, buying time until I decide what I want to buy and prepare. I’m not even really sure why, but I always feel calmer and happier when I am in this kind of a setting. Is it just me or does anyone else feel that way?
Panama, where the produce is almost all imported due to the incredible heat and the lack of major highlands (but where the tropical fruit bounty almost makes up for that) doesn’t quite offer this same experience, so I soak it up as much as I can while home. Not only can I find a farmer’s market to visit at least four times a week, but I’m also surrounded by such a different natural setting than steamy, lush Panama and it’s a nice break.
Walks to nearby farms, creeks, and lakes is that much more fun now that Joaquin is around (and his cousins too when we’re lucky) and I feel like a kid again as I explore all of it with them. Flowers relax at their stems in the hot sun as loyal bumble bees go about their business. The dogs follow along as we stroll and there is usually that quiet surrounding sound of cicadas that accompanies the dry summer heat. All the while, I am very serious about grooming Joaquin at the fine art of blackberry picking – I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t pass that skill on? Blackberry stains on clothes, although stingy suckers at removing, are only proof that we’re doing something right.
I love so much about Panama (and living abroad) and I’ll definitely get off of this soap box soon enough, but for now, I’d like to just relish in the beauty of summer vacation in California.
I mean, really, can you blame me?