Singing and laughter echoed into my bedroom window on Friday, June 22.
The lively sounds of food and friendship and bartering woke me from a scheduled sleep-in and drove me out the door to investigate.
I’d been in 100 Mile for three weeks and had yet to experience the South Cariboo Farmers Market.
My first surprise was the number of booths lining 3rd Street and the walkway in front of the Community Hall.
Who knew a small town could be so lively.
I stood amid the vendors for a few beats, absorbing the invasive collection of sights and smells.
My second surprise startled me from my daze with a loud crow.
I looked around to find the source of the sound, but came up empty. A second, louder crow startled me again.
I nearly abandoned my search but a young woman at a booth selling healthy dog treats answered my unspoken question.
“There is a rooster here. You are not going crazy.”
I exhaled and we both laughed. “Thank goodness.”
I wandered aimlessly amid the selection of goodies.
There was hand-made jewellery, homemade hygienic products. There were plants and produce and glass and wood creations.
My eyes were wide and my mind swirled with possibility as strangers welcomed me and asked how my day was going.
A kind farmer with long graying hair smiled at me and asked, “Care to try a cherry?”
I smiled but declined, intent on checking out the vendors inside the Community Hall and taking a break from direct sunlight.
He insisted, eyes sparkling as he raved that they’re the freshest and juiciest cherries in the area.
How dare I deny such an opportunity, I thought.
I had never before tried cherries from the South Cariboo area, but I can’t imagine they get much juicier. The kind gentleman was right.
I thanked him as I slurped the juice sliding down my chin.
Inside the hall, the booths continued. There were chocolates and baked goods and paintings and quilts.
I wanted to one of everything.
I won’t admit how many pastries I ate, but please believe it was enough to feed a family for a week.
Lingering for a few more hours, a peaceful bliss set over me. It’s a good feeling to be somewhere with people without feeling particularly rushed to get anywhere else.
I think I will come back again next week.