Saturday, July 17, 2010

Get Right

Lucinda Williams has a song I love called Get Right With God. In it, she describes all of the things she would do (handle snakes, sleep on nails) to get back in God's good graces. Well, after five weeks of traveling almost constantly, I feel like it's time to get right with my regular life. I've been eating hotel conference food -- which means a lot more poultry, salt, preservatives, and refined flour and sugar than I would normally eat -- , throwing away things I could recycle, and buying things that are unnecessary, but nice to have on airplanes (like cheesy magazines). All in all, I'm not feeling quite myself.

I started the process of getting right by hitting the Urban Harvest Farmer's Market this morning. Right away, I started feeling peppier as I saw all the people who were out on a day that promised to be swelteringly hot by ten a.m. Urban Harvest is a local organization that encourages city dwellers to grow food within the confines of the urban environment. While most of the vendors at their farmer's market are actual farmers, they also have a "Gardener's Corner" where people who've had a bumper crop in their own gardens can sell their wares.

Tomatoes, basil, melons, and blueberries were featured prominently today at the market.

I was even more excited to see the young people from the Emile Street Community Garden selling their produce. Emile Street is located in Houston's Fifth Ward, an inner city neighborhood bordering industrial lots, train tracks, and freeways. I bought some lemon basil from the two kids working there - one chatty young lady and a silent dude who was playing with a caterpillar. The young lady told me that the community garden is the only place in the neighborhood where you can find caterpillars and other creatures -- the rest of the neighborhood is too polluted (check out this month's Sierra Club magazine if you're interested in how pollution impacts low-income communities, featuring Houston activist Juan Parras).

My purchases - heirloom tomatoes, lemon basil, and blueberries

As I toted my purchases back home, dreaming of the salad I will have for lunch, I was feeling much more "right" with the world. Looking around the house -- piles of laundry, half-unpacked suitcase, semi-sorted mail -- I still have a lot to do, but I feel like I'm off on the right foot.


Ren said...

Oooh - that farmers' market sounds lovely Cat! Welcome back home - I know exactly what you mean about not being quite right when you're out of your normal routine and simple things like not getting enough greens, veggies and fruit can easily make you feel slightly out of sorts. Sounds like the market did just the trick for you :)

fourthbreakfast said...

What a nice find in the city! Wow, 5 weeks of travel. That's tough. It always bugs me when I go to a new city and I can't locate recycling bins anywhere...

grace said...

hurray! i've missed you. can you please start a series on "how to stay green when traveling and at conferences"?

i love "getting it right" days and catching up on life.

Catfish said...

Thanks for all the comments, friends! I've missed you too! Yes, I'll have to think about how to make my traveling life as intentional and healthy as my day-to-day life, since traveling is a)something I can't avoid and b) something I do love about my job.