Abundant life.

While Mike and I were away on vacation, spring apparently decided it would stop with the teasing and stick around for a while. We have been waiting for it, watching the signs. Each week at the Farmer’s Market, there have been more greens and more flowers, but food grows more slowly than the flowers outside, and greens are well and good, but what I really want are tomatoes and zucchini. While I have grown fond of sweet potato fries and can never have too many onions in my life, I am ready for some new vegetables to make an appearance. I think our farmer is, too, because when we went to see him on Holy Saturday and told him we’d be out of town the next weekend (and ultimately decided against purchasing anything, since, duh, we were going out of town), he said, “There will be new stuff when you get back!” It feels a bit like Advent or Lent, this waiting, this preparing my heart for the next season. I hate to miss the Farmer’s Market this time of year, to miss the first appearance of an old favorite returned from winter’s hibernation.

I can’t say that we never eat anything that’s unseasonal (hello, strawberry tart! Also, hello trip to Food Lion I made on Sunday during which I unabashedly bought unseasonable vegetable after unseasonable vegetable for us to eat this week), but we have come a long way in the past year, and it has been enjoyable for us to let the farm’s produce shape our meals. I have tried so many new things (turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, rhubarb) and they weren’t all home runs, but it has been a good sort of adventure, this foray into seasonal eating. I will confess: If I hadn’t promised my grandma that I wouldn’t go canning things at my own house, without her help, I do believe that I would be making the plans to buy everything I need for canning. Just to brighten up February and March of next year, when these longings for something new come around again.

Those sorts of longings are always what do me in, the looking ahead to what is next without also being present for what is here. One of Mike’s students is a runner, and he once asked her what she thinks about during a race. “Finishing,” she told him. “I think about finishing.” When he told me that, I said that all I think about during a race is putting one foot in front of the other, because finishing seems too far away. Which is probably why she’s so much better than I am.

Life, unlike a race, should probably be some combination of the two – anticipation of things to come (tomato season, vacations, our great reward and reunion with those we love and miss) balanced with the pleasures of daily life (the tulips that have appeared in my back yard, the chance to float around in a pool and read some of my favorite books, and, yes, another week of sweet potato fries). In college, some friends and I talked a lot about the abundant life that God has given us. I am learning a thing or two about living in that abundance by showing up at the Farmer’s Market every week.

I linked to this as part of Emily’s Tuesdays Unwrapped series.

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