Just Being There

Last Sunday at the Callingwood Farmer's Market a woman took some photos of the table with our jams and I asked her for a copy of the pictures and paid for her time and effort with a jar of jam.  When she sent the photos she also had this lovely story which is here for you to read.

Thanks Cathy for sharing.

Dear Carol,

A story. A story about generosity and kindness and how those gifts once given can continue to give.

It was Sunday. A Sunday that dawned beautiful and promised only to get more so. I was expectant as I gathered what I needed to head out the door to the Callingwood Farmers Market. I so enjoy Sundays at the market. Even more so when it is particularly busy and today being so lovely, I knew that alone would draw a good crowd. You need a crowd to energize the atmosphere as you walk along enjoying the vibrant colors, the buzz of the people and the smells.

I wasn't in the market for any one thing, I was just looking forward to delighting in the ambiance. Oh and maybe I would take a few pictures. I meandered through the crowd, eyeing all of the wonderful produce, woolen items, plants, and then I spied a table that made me just stop and well....gawk. It wasn't that it was an amazing invention or some clever gadget that required further scrutiny, it was home preserves. Simply wonderful colorful jars of home preserves and at that particular space in time they seemed to speak to me in an unexpected profound way. I was quite surprised as I just stood smiling, drinking in the wonderful sight of color, all wonderfully yet gently backlit by the sun so that the contents of each jar seemed to softly glow from within.

Then the why this touched me so much dawned on me. Like a little 'Aha' went off in my head and that served to only make me smile more broadly as I began to fully appreciate these budding thoughts. Memories.......this was about much loved memories. Thoughts from my childhood that had been tucked away for decades and decided just now just this moment to elbow their way to the forefront to be dusted off and fondly remembered once again. Colorful, happy memories of helping Mom and Dad pick sun warmed strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and whatever else that came into season that required nimble fingers to pluck it from where it hung like a bright colorful ornament and put it into a basket.

I suddenly remembered my sister and I picking our way down the long row of raspberry canes, eating as much as we put in our baskets and Mom smiling warmly at us as we did so. Us smiling back with raspberry juice dribbling down our chins. Laughter as we made our way back to the house with our bountiful treasure from Mother Nature, excited because the best was yet to come. Mom would now turn this wonderful fruit into something even more wonderful - homemade jam! Memories of our childlike awkwardness as my sister and I clammered onto chairs at the kitchen table and waited a little impatiently as Mom slathered healthy amounts of freshly made jam onto thick slabs of homemade bread that we would gulp down stopping only momentarily to slurp rather noisily from our cups of tea, smiling at each other the whole time.

Memories.......that is what all of these little colorful jars represented to me. And Carol, the very kind Vendor who gifted me with a jar of this magic - Thank-you! You gifted me not with a simple jar of jam, you gifted me with a jarful of loving, happy, colorful memories.

A jarful of laughter and hugs.

Cathy J.