Yesterday drained every bit of my energy pulling several invasive long, strong, stringy ivy vines with those short, hairy, tendrils clinging to the old rhododendron plants on our property. To rid those vines, I break the vines with my garden clippers to kill further growth on the bushes, then I get a good grip on the end and give it a hefty tug. I love the ripping sound as the vine separates from the trunk delaying their aggressive growth for a few more years.
So I gave my arm and leg muscles a break today and drove to the small village of Langley three miles from home to join the Whidbey Island sketchers for an afternoon at the Farmers Market to sketch the activity. Kim’s Marimba group was providing the music for the day giving the shoppers and browsers a bounce and swing to their steps.
Several of we sketchers enjoyed the music, the crowd and spirit spreading through the street. The stalls were full of bright colorful flowers and rich healthy vegetables that made my vegetable garden look very anemic. From where I sat, it was interesting to listen and observe browser and friends warmly greet each other along the streets and stalls, friendly conversations between serious gardeners or curious browsers about the process and details of producing successful beautiful edible plants.
I sat in the shade between one of the retail shops and a street stall set up with a friendly young couple’s home grown vegetables for buyers. Their blond son, who must have been near five or six, was behind the table eating snacks from a plastic baggy. He was a picturesque quintessential farm boy; I imagined a piece of straw grass sticking out from his mouth. He wore a large straw hat, heavy sandals, long blue sweat shirt and probably his most comfortable trousers. He was an active up and down, difficult to sit still, quiet shy boy along with good behavior. His dad would turn and give him some conversation time and a hug.
I was fortunate to get a quick observation of him sitting on a crate enjoying his snacks before he moved from that position to stand upright for a few seconds and then he started to do his own dance steps with the beat of the marimba group; they were small steps but it was obvious he was happy and enjoying the music not at all conscious of himself or anyone watching him. He looked over at me several times with questioning eyes wondering what that grandma lady was doing watching him and doing something with her hands on a piece of paper. He was adorable and so unassuming. I asked him if he wanted to see a drawing of himself but he quietly turned his head toward the other direction with no word from him; his parents must have told him not to speak to strangers.
I treasure this small sketch to remind me of those long summer days as a kid and the feeling of freedom and time for lots of day dreaming and imagination.