Growing up in Alabama, I’d hear about the farmer’s market from my parents.
“Where is it?” I’d ask, bright eyed and full of wonder, Dr. Pepper and Kit Kat bars.
“Right over there” would be the reply, accompanied by a subtle gesture towards collapsing buildings and a water tower made entirely of rust.
I imagined two card tables, a lockbox, and 17 tomatoes in various stages of decay.
What else could possibly be there?
Maybe an unripe watermelon
This soon became irrelevant as my family planted a garden in the backyard and we grew our own tomatoes, watermelons, and broken bicycles.
And then I moved to Nashville.
Someone says, “Why, yes, I frequent the farmer’s market!”
And I ask, “Where is it?” still full of wonder and Dr. Pepper, but now with an added four shots of Jim Beam.
He makes a dramatic gesture, both arms flailing about, knees slightly bent, back arched, head back…
…but I still don’t know where he pointed.
I imagine he was pointing directly into Heaven:
Never ending golden fountains of fresh cow’s milk, spraying in all directions, back lit red, green, blue, magenta; the colors changing in time with sounds of peaches falling from trees, each one landing in perfect display… A pyramid of peaches!
Seventy cantaloupes hang from the sky.
Say “Cantaloupe, please,” and one falls into your arms, coos like a baby, and then never does anything else like a baby, because it’s a melon, and that’s weird.
Apples line the streets
The streets are made of corn husks
There are barrels of beets…
…crates of carrots
And you never hear anyone asking if winter squash is in season…
Because everything is in season, all the time.
You see friends shaking hands, saying ‘how do you do?’
Bees making honey so sweet, they’ll apologize if they sting you.
You forget your problems when you get there
And by the time you leave, all your problems have solved themselves
Yes, my friends, the West Nashville Farmer’s Market is nothing short of perfect.
I’ve never been.
But I’ve heard good things.