“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
I have always been drawn to those who stretch out the simplistic joys of life, delicately. Genuinity is interchangeable and is often as rare as lack of nuisance found in a guests’ overstayed welcome. Some envy towards individuals who have held the stick of life in the middle, composed, despite whirlwind, can be found coming from me in certain stages of my disposition in life.
I have always been fond of people with white agendas. Those who live a life of unprecedented air. Individuals who are absent of blind obedience, and who, when asked of their opinion, provide it gracefully, though hesitantly. Individuals who live for themselves, and who neither request nor offer, but rather march with the slogan of ‘be and let be’ – those, and perhaps only those, are worthy of our autonomous votes. I am drawn to authenticity, though I often misplace it myself.
Perhaps this is why I am warm towards those who are accountable.
I have found that the idea of enjoying life in its natural, simplistic form is naturally embedded within some of us, quite like aristocracy was within ancient Greece. Individuals who have successfully blazed the trail of simplistic pleasures hold an answer key to the hidden questions of life. And should an opportunity at a glance be presented to us, we find their individualism obstructing our view.
The drums of society are loud, and as they continue to pounce on our ethics with enthusiasm, they are also a great reminder of what it means to encounter individuals who have choreographed a different tune. Individuals whose sequent movements in life are purposeful, natural—like artists who glide with ease despite injured feet.
At times I find difficulty in comprehending the true meaning of a stable life. Despite my eagerness in finding it, I often find myself parched of it. The only moments I get a glimpse at individuals of eccentric pleasures are during Sunday afternoons where I stroll silently through local markets. This is where I take notice of larger signs than those placed above the vendors- the signs of those who bare it all- heart and soul. I study their conduct and I realize that these individuals wear their labour on their sleeve, quite literarily. They are strangely enthusiastic, optimistic, and contempt—whether one buys or not, I notice them to continue to bid a kind farewell, nonetheless.
I find myself in need of their knowledge. What is it about life have they figured out but not I? It seems to me that this is the address to where ease resided. And so I test it out by reaching for products and exhausting all questions, and yet still, their devotion to their work comes through like a strong fragrance of the local scent.
A short story
With a hand-woven basket in my hand and a flower-dress resembling the providence of Italy, I venture to my local farmer’s market and come across a vendor who speaks my mother tongue. She is selling fruits and vegetables, though mainly vegetables, and she invites me with her kind chit-chat and humble approach. She inquiries about my day, and I signal towards the sun and grass, and release a sigh of relief over the fresh air we’ve been thankful to receive lately. Then I continue walking.
Seasons later, I decide to meet with a new friend, and we stroll through central downtown with coffee cups signaling a long meet-up. She tells me that her parents have a farm, and that I should come by some time, detecting from my personality that perhaps I might be someone in search of peace and harmony—together collected from nature. I nod a definite yes, and assure her of my visit one day. And as the day came to an end, so did the year, and I still did not visit her family’s farm.
The numerous coffee stains, relished over this long period of time, began to signal the start of a great friendship. She told me that her parents own a local fruits and vegetable business, called Kiwan Farms, and that they are vendors at the farmer’s market. And that I should visit. The success of visiting the farmers market, this time, would be greater than the success of visiting the farm—perhaps she thought. And if she did entertain this thought, she would be right because the signal of my yes! was of a definite one.
I walked up to the farmer’s market with my hand-woven basket in search of her fruit and vegetable set-up. She told me the name of her family’s business but I admit by then I had forgotten it. I strolled through the narrow paths of the market, greeted heavily by the sun, and a vendor who spoke my mother tongue. She was selling fruits and vegetables, though mainly vegetables, and she invited me with her kind chit-chat and humble approach. She inquired about my day— and as I began my departure into a pre-arranged social chit-chat over the temperament of the weather, as I usually do, I had a sudden recall of this vendor’s familiar face. At that instant moment, I also saw my friend’s familiar face as she rose from behind a neatly stacked folded tables to introduce this kind lady to me—as her mother.
I immediately feel warmth—and not as a result of heat from the sun. I go into a long discussion over the family business, the farm they own, and the fruit and vegetables they sell every weekend at the farmer’s market; this time with attentive care, and in complete awe. I notice the humble manner of their conduct; the way they interact with their customers and the generosity in their approach—which all appeared natural, only filled with an ignited passion for the job. It made me wonder of many others whom share a space in the same boat, and who are ignited by customers who are also attentive—this time to their product.
And as my trips to the farmer’s market became frequent, with each step I continued to ponder, yet again, the simplistic pleasures in life, and it finally brought me to this:
There are times in life where we sneak a peek into an whimsical window of a world filled with honest characters, of greenery and quaint summer afternoons, and it stretches out this dream of living with simplicity as though it remains a fairy-tale…when it is, in fact, a candid reality.
Vendors, like Kiwan Farms, at the Ottawa farmer’s market are awake each morning seeding, planting, watering, and picking fruits and vegetables, among other things, so that we, commoners of the polybag, can find value in the work they deliver us—and perhaps muster a little appreciation for it…which most of us often do, deeply. One must care to preserve local products because they are packed with care–a disappearing habit of today. Supporting local might be our last chance at preserving originality, in a world eager to counterfeit.
I support local because I wish to be closer to the people, to my society, and to the truth.
In celebrating this humble family, I will be at the grand opening of Kiwan Farms second location June 24, 2017, where their local vegetables are displayed at the corner of Hunt Club and Hawthorne Rd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. I disclose this information as a friend and a local citizen of no interest but of one supporting local.