From where we stood in the center of the farmer’s market, the strong scent of sun-ripened vegetables and pretty flowers permeated the early morning air. It was the beginning of summer and one of those first Saturdays when the market was open. The clean white and blue tents were set up in the center of town, filled with the first produce from of the season. Beating down on our heads through the clear, clean air, the sun was already hot, though it was still early in the morning, and we were glad that we had dressed for the heat. Swishing skirts and tank tops made us feel fresh and summery as we meandered through the tents, tasting every free sample we could find.
“Aren’t these bouquets of wild flowers lovely?”
“They are wonderful, aren’t they? Smell them!”
“Oh, I wish I had a grandmother nearby, or someone who I could randomly buy them for.” We chuckled. If only…
We bought no flowers, only straws full of flavored honey, that we paid a quarter for each, and then sucked on as we continued our walk, looking like children with candy hanging from our mouths. I bought a basil plant. Four healthy stalks--a quarter each--and I carried them home proudly, planting the fragrant beauties in a clay pot and caring for it like it was my child.
That was three months ago.
It was one of the few romantically pleasant events that I thought might be worthy to blog about. But I didn’t. If the exact market had been in
, I’d have written an essay on it, describing in detail each vendors goods and they food that we tasted. But this is Italy . Hardly Campo di Fiori. And so I didn’t bother to write…because walking through a farmer’s market with a friend hardly seemed worth mentioning. It was a very normal Saturday. Williamsport, Pennsylvania
From where we sat on high stools beside the café window, we watched people walk along the downtown sidewalks, meandering through the city as we had through the market three months ago. Today, we had a final lunch together, for the summer is over.
“How will your basil plant survive while you are at school?” she asked me, teasingly.
I chuckled and dramatically sighed in response.
Now, all that remain of my basil plant is four yellowed looking stems with brownish green leaves peeking from its body like shy faces, afraid of being torn off by a cooks hand. The woody remains of what once was a delicate plant.
Apparently, I do not have much of a green thumb.
The summer is over.
Tomorrow morning I return to
, a fact proven by the pile of my belonging sitting under the carport outside. Two boxes, two suitcases, a milk crate filled with beloved classics (as well as not-so-beloved textbooks) and a laundry basket full of odd ends. I am excited to return to school. Geneva
On this last night of summer vacation, before I pack up the van and begin my junior year of college, my sister and I are making dinner. And I think the poor basil plant has seen its last day. A little pasta, garlic, and parmesan in our capable hands and we shall feast.
It wont quite be like
, but it shall certainly be lovely. Italy