I spent this morning awash in the sunsplash and dazzling color of our local Community Farmer’s Market. This truly remarkable Saturday morning destination in downtown Bloomington reminds me why I love this place. How can you resist the cornucopia of good foods grown right here: chilies, tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes and herbs, the sweet corn of high Indiana summer? Fresh baked bread and honey? Neighbor’s hands wave, their smiles and wares feed and decorate us and our families? This sensory nurturance, the connections made whenever I step into our weekly festival of home-grown goodness almost always makes me feel right with the world for a few fine hours, so proud and pleased to be a member of this community.
Truth is, I’m more of a distance devotee of market than a weekly participant. I make it over a few times a season but generally –willingly-- send my husband in search of goods and into the spectacular flow of foot-tapping, guitar-picking, bagpipe droning , popcorn scented, humanity. I’m not a grump or completely socially phobic or any such thing, but I do get over- stimulated awful quickly. So when I seek out a meaningful exchange or two and find my energies drifting diffusely in the direction of the tap and twang and away from the smiling face in front of me, I know it’s time to move on. And usually, I’m left with a strange feeling of incompletion when that happens. But PLEASE…that’s me: introverted at my core.
Today I answered Carole Clark’s call for women to…well, woman our booth at A Fair of the Arts where we offered WWF(a)C Greeting Cards for sale in support of scholarships and outreach at Women Writing for (a) Change. There’s something different about sitting still just off the market midway and simply enjoying the passing throngs. There were many questions and visitors and familiar faces from times gone by. Smells and sounds and light-filled the air. But we were sitting still. It was fun . I think we got more word out about this mysterious group that has been flying under the radar for the past several years.
As Women Writing for (a) Change, Bloomington approaches its 5th anniversary, I stand back in awe to celebrate yet another emerging community within our already-amazing community. We found a home, and offer one more gift to the abundance of gifts our town has to offer. If you come to the Poplar Grove Schoolhouse, you’ll find color, and sun that filters through old windows, and quiet rooms for reflection and writing. You’ll hear laughter, and poetry and stories galore and pins drop as women read to one another. You might hear girls singing and drumming and standing up behind their newly written words. You’ll smell orange ginger tea and sometimes chocolate scones. You will be attended to without interruption, and you will attend to your voice and your spirit and your writerly needs, which in this busy, over-stimulating world is its own gift. So today I’m thinking there’s a place for all of it: the heartbeat of a town can be loud and soft. Active and quiet. Bright and muted. Bloomington, Indiana… love this place.
Beth, for the Poplar Grove Muse