Monday, October 15, 2012

Good Old Days at the Farmer's Market

After a day of visiting wineries along U.S. Highway 290 north of Fredericksburg, Texas, I sat on a folding chair at the downtown farmer's market. Our star radiated blindingly through the trees, and I felt a gentle breeze on my cheek.

For a moment, I resisted the alluring peacefulness of this setting. I was thinking about the human-initiated horrors going on across the planet. The steady warming of the atmosphere and massive glacial melting. The radical deforestation of jungle areas, along with extinction of familiar species. Religious extremists and their holy wars against non-believers. Tyrants bombarding their own citizens with artillery and airstrikes. Nuclear weapons being developed by countries friendly to terrorists. The collapse of national economies that borrowed to pay entitlements. Lies, low quality, corruption, crime, greed, and superstition - commonplace everywhere, accepted as normal.

But the air was fragrant with the smell of barbecue and flowering bushes, and the vendors stood hopefully behind their wines, organic produce, hand-roasted specialty coffee, wood-fired pizza, free-range lamb, and pumpkins of all sizes. A World War II veteran sharpened knives. A country singer sang for tips: "Ninety-nine and 44/100 percent pure love."

Two boys ran in circles on the grass with their dogs. They seemed about six years old. I searched my memory for dizzying games I played on grass when I was six. Then I remembered that I had my first girl-friend that year. One afternoon I climbed a chair to reach a pay phone to ask her out to the movies. Amazing, but true. Her parents picked us up and dropped us off at the Orpheum Theater. We saw "High Noon," starring Gary Cooper. I haven't watched that movie since, and I have no idea where her life journey took her. I still use her name for a security question online - "First name of first girl friend."

Peace and happiness settled in that evening at the Fredericksburg Farmer's Market. I watched as families sat around the picnic tables, sampling food from the vendors. The earth continued its relentless rotation until our star was hidden by trees.

And I thought: This isn't yet the time of the worst-case scenarios.

There had been many evenings like this, and there would be more. I thought: These are the good old days.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2012. Building Personal Strength .

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