Day Twenty, Saturday
Morgan walked to the Farmer’s Market, her bag swinging on her arm. Nancy asked her to pick up some fruit for them. They were busy packing, sorting, deciding what to take and what to put in storage. For the kids, this trip was like a long vacation. Nancy said it was more like a walk into a very long tunnel.
She picked up two bunches of spinach for her salads, some apples and berries for Nancy, and tomatoes. Wandering slowly past the tables, she watched and listened to the conversations. Old friends, neighbors, meeting. Apologies when a stroller bumped someone. Questions over prices, over quality. A low humming, a comfortable buzzing of activity. Community, sharing talk, connections. Comfortable, happy. Connections made between friends and strangers.
She loved the smells of fruit and flowers, the rainbow array of squash and eggplant and carrots and tomatoes and onions, the flowers, bunched in tall galvanized buckets, deep fall colors of russet and maroon and gold. She bought another bunch of sunflowers, these with smaller blossoms, a deep russet. She bought another loaf of artisan bread. This time, one with Italian seasonings baked in. She would make a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
The gal with the artful journal display was there again. Morgan stopped to chat with her. The gal remembered her, asked her how her journal was filling up.
“Not too well, really. I sit down to write, then I get lost in thought, and the page sits, empty.”
“Yes, I know it takes a certain amount of courage to fill up the pages. As you write, your thoughts will reveal themselves in ways beyond what happens just in your head. Crazy, I know, but it is true. Getting words down, on paper, gives them new quality, new depth.”
“I don’t know how to get started,” said Morgan.
“Lists. If I can’t think of what to write, I make a list. What am I happy about today? What am I frustrated with today? What made me angry today? What beauty did I see today? What did I say today that I wish I hadn’t said? Anything like that. Even a grocery list will get you thinking and you will be writing about a hidden desire to visit France and eat at a sidewalk café. Crazy, wild, funny stuff. You’ll be surprised.”
Morgan thought of Elfrida, in Winter Solstice. She wasn’t afraid to be crazy, wild, funny. To take risks. Huge risks. To attempt something impossible. To open her heart to the new and different. She smiled at the gal behind the table, “Yes, okay, I see. I will write more this week. Thank you. Maybe I need to get over the school paper mentality.”
“Absolutely. This is just for you. No one will ever see it. Write for yourself, to yourself. It might sound a little selfish, narrow minded, but, really, writing in the journal opens your heart to others, to the world around you. Somehow, by writing inside your shell, you stick your head out and look around you more. I’m glad you are trying, keep it up.” Another customer walked up to the table and she turned to talk with her.
Big signs were posted around the market. “Last Day. Closing for the Season. See you next Summer!”
The flowers tucked in her bent arm, the weighted shopping bag hanging from her other hand, Morgan walked home. The leaves, in full color, dropped, floated in the breeze, crunched under her feet. A few drifted in to the top of her bag. As she crossed the grassy area of the park, many leaves were piled on the ground. She scooped up several handfuls. Her low wooden bowl, some leaves, some apples, a few walnuts would make a pretty center on her coffee table.
She walked slowly, enjoying the air, feeling the change in the weather. Fall was packing up its things, getting ready to leave, the arrival of winter around the corner. Today, the few clouds, puffy and brilliant white, drifted in the deep blue ocean of the sky. She was ready for change. Change was already happening.