It always suprises people that I've never been to the Pike Place Market in Seattle. "How long have you lived here?" they ask, and sometimes, "You love wierd food. Why haven't you been?" Well, now I have.
There's something fascinating about food markets, Seattle and Somoto and Munich, in red-yellow Rainier cherries - the appearance of fall and the taste of Summer, in cactus fruit like fat spined purple roses, in burlap pouches of sausage-making spices full of spikey dried leaves that all look the same and all smell different. The stuff of life, shaped into colorful pyramids and stacked bundles bound with red rubber bands and the tiny pink grasping fingers of shrimp. Take, eat, this was given for you.
Scent coils in the air with the silken tails of kites and wind socks, like fish scales, colorful and intricate and shimmering. The cedar and cinnamon of my two companions. The smell of old paper and ink. Garlic and tart ground sumak berries, earthy morel mushrooms and the delicate chilled fish-scent. Apples and cherries and raspberries, braided onions, the sharp green of asparagus. And over all that, the salt smell of the sea, that makes you sit up a little straighter and breathe a little deeper, to pull more of the world into yourself.
Sometimes it's good to be reminded that life is its own reward