Maybe, It’s Not About You

Leda-sprouting acres mkt2

I had a pleasant and profound conversation with a family at the Madison farmers’ market today. They had driven all the way from Chicago to check out what they’d heard was a great farmers’ market. They were smiling and enjoying the fanfare, and I met them just as they had fallen in love with a robust and beautiful head of red leaf lettuce perched on our market stand. They glanced at it with clear admiration, talked amongst themselves, and then looked back at the lettuce. I thought for sure they were going to buy it and offered them a bag for the purchase. The woman smiled sheepishly and asked if I thought that the lettuce head would be okay in their car all day, explaining their story of driving in from Chicago…

My attachment to the lettuce was literally from farm to table. Yesterday morning, I had harvested it in the field, with the rest of our head lettuces, dunked it in cool water to chill it and shaken the excess water off before packing it in a cooler and seeing it safely into the walk in cooler with the rest of the produce we would be taking to market. Now, we were standing before the same head of lettuce and I was the bearer of bad news: patiently explaining that, no the fresh looking head of lettuce would not do very well in a car all day (sans ice chest) and would probably end up as a wilty mess if they were to purchase it. And here I thought my main job was to help bring fresh good quality produce to market and people would automatically buy it. As long as I did my job, there would be hoards of people waiting in long lines to be the first to purchase these beautiful (and tasty!) heads of lettuce that I had harvested.

I get it, we all like to think we’re in total control of our lives and actions. In many ways, we evaluate our actions as if they drive the world (and to some extent they do drive our personal world). We make statements like, “If only I had ______ then that would have turned out better” “I tried gardening once, but I just don’t have a green thumb” “I can’t seem to meet the right person” and on and on…But, maybe, some of these things that we think are our fault or to our credit would have happened anyway. There are other people with their own stories and nature takes its course and things happen that don’t necessarily make sense. Maybe that thing that just happened that you’re so upset about really doesn’t have much to do with you at all. Maybe, it’s not about you…


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