This morning, I once again exercised my free will and opened my Attic door and traipsed out into the spring sunshine. I headed for my neighborhood market that occurs like clockwork on Saturdays. This market and the walk to the market, passing abundant flowering plants, shrubs, and trees are a huge part of what is good and wonderful about City living. Now some Californian natives might argue that Berkeley is not a City and that the City lies across the Bay. I beg to differ. As a country kid who as an adult lived in a Small City, Berkeley most definitely feels like a City even after having lived here for almost five years. The City across the Bay where I commute to and from three days a week is a Big City.
Since I moved here to begin my doctoral program, I have been keeping a pro’s and con’s mental, and sometimes on this blog, list of City and Big City living while most of the time pining away for Country Living (not the magazine but the real life deal). What I have been keeping at bay, right at the edge of my peripheral conscious, is the fact that I have not been a Country Dweller for going on 30 years. This realization is a sad one for this country woman. There is nothing like the solitude of the countryside accompanied by the sounds and nuances of nature, to soothe my spirit and worried mind. So that is why I treasure those moments when I am cognizant enough to tap into the country while living in the City.
The fact that there is always something in bloom and that the color green is represented in non-manmade flora and fauna year round here in this neck of the City, still astounds and delights me. Years and years of living in the Frozen Frigid Northland of Alaska’s winters where I can guarantee you that if you see a flower in January, it’s plastic and/or a visual hallucination, requires me to walk about the Cali City streets with a look of amazement and pleasure from November through May. Take this morning’s walk, I would have filled up at least two pages of college-ruled paper if I had known and written down every name of the flowers, non-dormant green plants, trees and shrubs on my 15 minute walk to the market. I then could have filled up another two pages on the walk back to the Attic. The air was perfumed with the heady scents of spring that helped put a bounce in my step.
I feel happy inside when I see folks hauling off their market splendor in their backpacks (or as my grandkiddos used to call them, their packpacks), reuseable bags, strollers (wth the kid walking alongside), red wagons, bike baskets, and brown bags. As for me, I totally treated myself and splurged on some hopefully tasty tidbits ~ a small container of cooked dungeness crab meat (which I really really hope is fresh and tasty as it is a small 8 oz container for a big price, but hey I deserve a little extravagance, right?), two small light green artichokes, a small head of white cauliflower, and another big splurge on 12 extra large brown organic eggs. Ummmm my tummy is growling ~ I think it’s telling me to hurry up and cook some of that food loot up. Me thinks I will heed the call. I’ll let you know how it turns out.