By Marie LeClaire
She knew it was just the play of sunlight coming through an opening in the side of the canvas booth. Nonetheless, the perfectly round orange at the very top of the pile appeared to glow with life, a beacon identifying this farm stand from all the others assembled at the market today. It was a magical sight that would last only another moment. Soon the sun would drift further along its extraordinary routine and the scene would be gone forever. She hesitated, appreciating the relationship of orange to sun. With surprising agility, an old women shoved past her, grabbed the glowing fruit and elbowed her way to the vendor’s register. She instantly felt the loss. Suddenly, she was aware of the others, busily bumping around each other, and the moment was gone.
She stood completely still, looking with a bit of sadness at the space vacated by the divine fruit. Her shoulders drooped as she let out her breath. Her fascination with the minute miracles of daily life had been her downfall. Her hesitation, her lingering, her appreciation for these singular events, had defined the course of her life. There were the untold buses that moved on without her, jobs she missed out on because she was late for the interview, loves lost because she just couldn’t speed her life up to meet someone elses. She’d be homeless if not for her mother. Although not exactly a kindred spirit, her mother understood her, even joined her in her fascination with the world at times.
A voice behind her broke her reverie.
“It was beautiful, wasn’t it? Just for a moment. Did you see it?”
She turned to see a handsome man, about her age, admiring the fruity display. He wore an artist’s smock decorated randomly with a hundred different colors of paint. Thoughtful eyes returned her gaze.
“I love the farmers market,” he said. “Sometimes I think I can stand here all day, watching the light dance across the scene.”
A smile broke wide across her face. The slightest twinge of excitement emanated from her heart and spread through her body, gentle ripples in a quiet pond. Was this him? Her mate? Her match? The One?
She moved closer, hooking her arm into his.
“Have you seen the red apples at the last table?” she inquired.