Lucas van Valckenborch (1535-1597)
Do you like grocery shopping? If you don’t, you might think I’m being a little, um, let’s just say… a little dramatic.
Where do you buy your food? I realize that in many parts of the world, even here in the states, groceries can be and usually are purchased from small shops and markets, not gargantuan grocery stores/supermarkets. I’ve often thought how much I would enjoy shopping that way, buying high quality goods from local merchants, enjoying a chat, picking up a bouquet of fresh flowers on my way home.
We have farmers markets in the greater Houston area, but not that many. Most aren’t near our neighborhood and the few that are aren’t open daily. On the other hand, our closest grocery store is really close and at least it carries some fresh, Texas produce.
I’m not a fan of shopping, but I’ve always appreciated grocery stores. Does that sound odd? Who doesn’t, you might ask? But I think my view of them is not so common. I sort of see them as modern versions of medieval markets. Food is a necessity. We all have to obtain it from someplace. We always have. Holidays and seasons add fun and interest. The people working there also often add fun and interest. Something’s always going on. Supermarkets are dynamic and necessary.
Super markets. Markets. Yes, they are markets and the people who work there are merchants, just like in medieval times, just like in many towns even today. And I, at least, am a villager, ambling down the aisles in lieu of a winding, village street, often seeing people I know, sometimes exchanging a few words with some of the store’s employees. A lot of them have worked there ever since I’ve shopped there, several years now. It’s where they earn their livelihood.
It’s all just so human. Things change over time, but not all things change completely. There’s a timeless aspect to selling and procuring food and dry goods. I like to be aware of the timelessness, to embrace the humanity, and be in the present.
So, am I way overthinking grocery shopping? Perhaps. But it’s not really all about the groceries.
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran