Farmer’s Market

Psalm 65:9-13 sums up my morning.

You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

After breakfast I took off for my favorite Saturday morning hangout. Last night’s rains left the road damp under my tires. Clouds and moisture gathered around, making the greens greener and the air healthier. For long stretches on the road, the only sound was my occasional brake squeal. Pedaling came easy, and there was time for reflection. The trees were damp with moisture, and in the breeze they might have been clapping hands.

The farmer’s market is always the busiest place in town on Saturday mornings. It gets even more business than Dunkin Donuts, at least one day of the week. Old hippies and college students, raspy-hand farmers and babies in strollers. Soap artisans and dog-biscuit makers, gardeners and bakers. I like to just go and watch the people, a group of folks who appreciate the bounty of summer and the value of local (agri)culture. Sure, the food is more expensive than at Shaw’s or Stop and Shop. But here my money is tithe, turning God-given wealth back into the world for the sake of bettering God’s people. And the food is deliciously simple, without the complications of global food networks, middle-man markups, or slave labor in the fields. Sampling honey from Connecticut beehives, admiring a dozen dogs in all varieties, and talking with a farmer about working a day in his fields, it’s easy to drop a few bills for produce.

All too soon it’s time to go. Back onto the damp streets, ducking puddles. A few fruits and vegetables in my backpack, convenient excuse for the morning’s excursion. But when I get home and read the passage, I know the psalmist is still right on after thousands of years. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain. And all together shout and sing for joy. God is good!

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