Easter Sunday 2011
I decided I would go to the organic markets at Northey Street. The morning was warm and flush with sunlight as I walked to the bus station and from the bus stop to the markets.
I've always enjoyed myself at the markets, catching up with some friends and several acquaintances as we sit for hours under the trees with our cups of coffee or chai that have been trained to last long.
Meanwhile, kettles and a newly installed coffee machine hiss and gurgle earnestly in the hub of this marketplace as the queue for hot beverages and toast extends and shrinks across the dirt track and cracked concrete.
Every now and again, a name is called out and someone rushes over eagerly to collect their order. It's all very grass roots-y.
The dress code here is casual hippie. Yes, I mean casual-hippie. Dreadlocks, leather sandals, rubber thongs, fisherman pants, t-shirts making statements such as 'Worms grow here' and 'I could be your father', halter necks, beads and toe rings all seem to land evenly and congenially on this flood-prone plot of land that has been successfully turned into an organic farm.
Under the trees, magic seems to happen as traders trade and purchasers purchase and conversations are struck on matters ranging from sovereign rights, Law of Attraction, spiritual transcendence, relationships, babies and pure coconut oil from Fiji to solar panels and their wattage limitations.
Masseurs of exotic disciplines and esoteric traditions seem to be constantly occupied as are the owners of my favorite stall.
That's the one where you're likely to order a milk or coconut based shake that you'd thus far, never encountered, comprising, as you choose, ingredients as varied as figs, mint and watermelon.
In this rustic setting,, however, and given the privilege of peddle-blending your own shake on a stationary bicycle equipped with a motorized blender, you know you'd be missing out if you didn't extend your palate.
I've asked the owners when they'll be ready to sell me one of those bicycles.
'We're still improving the design' they tell me, assuring me that it's not at all difficult to put together.
Hmm...I can do some things but this??? I don't think so. So I've called on hope instead.
When I'd had my fill of the markets, I made my way to the city. There were two shops I wanted to go to. JB Hi-Fi, where a sound card reader was waiting for my collection - one I'd ordered for my new netbook (Oh yeah!). The other, Rivers, where I was hoping to check out a pair of shoes that were on special. Neither store was open.
But, as often happens in the mall, there was free entertainment. Today, under a canopy of greying sky, a trio of two lasses and a lad were singing and playing music of a distinctly Celtic flavor.
Ah, someone must have been eavesdropping on my dreams of late where I'm lost in the enchanted idylls of Scotland :). My smile stayed with me the rest of the day :)
A change in the flavor of the music finally broke the spell I'd willingly gone under, so off I went to the only other store I felt like going to - a kind of warehouse filled with discounted books, painting and other art and craft materials and toys.
How rich and moving it all felt to me, as if my soul's prayer had been answered - to be in the company of those things that it longs to indulge in. I was sure my tears emerged from an entangled mesh of joy and relief.
These are the things that we simply cannot afford to put aside and yet we do. These are the things we need to give most time to and yet we don't. These are the things that stir up joy within us and yet, we foolishly dismiss them as 'nice but not necessary'. Fools are we! Or at least I am.
I spent time fondling, squeezing (for sounds) and silently talking to several soft toys that caught my child's eye. I heard myself thinking that I was experiencing some of the childhood I'd never had, one bereft of cuddly toys. Actually, one bereft of cuddles and hugs too. A childhood poor in material but mostly in spirit, the latter plundered by a mentally disturbed parent.
Still, I smiled thankful that I was experiencing that unknown childhood now. Thankful that I could. Thankful, in fact, for all of my life, all of this day, all that I have become and all that I am becoming.
I am rich indeed!