Essential…no longer Associate :)

“I don’t see the bin for Flowering Chives” I asked Julie.

“You can place them in the Chives-local produce bin”, she responded from across the aisle.

I’m working temporary at the Food Coop stocking produce.

During normal times, the coop requires 3hrs of monthly volunteer shifts

and my shift was placing organic labels on the produce

in the basement, with a talkative crew.

But…

due to the Corona, all shifts have been suspended and most members have been hired to work for…

minimum wage.           101010428_714861959248941_178266032119480320_n

Now I hold the title of “Essential Worker” instead of “Training Associate”

severed by my resignation after three years at an org

with glass ceilings

stained with smudge marks

by those who tried to break through.

My choice. My body. My decision.

Julie is the supervisor for Produce at the food coop.

She is meticulous as I will never be.

I lack the energy to be meticulous in just about anything.

“I can’t believe it’s eight o’clock and the shelves aren’t stocked!!”

“We’ll get there Julie”, I said from atop a small stool stocking

the flowering chives

and secretly thinking,

How the hell do you cook flowering chives?’

“When you’re done with the chives could you stock the nettles? Just be careful when you’re bagging them.

They have thorns and it burns if it pierces the skin.”

“What do you do with nettles?”

“Well you can make tea from the leaves and you can boil the leaves and put into food”, Julie said.

“Why in the world would you cook with an herb that attacks you?”, I responded.

Sure enough…

I got pricked by a nettle at the wrist which led to a burning sensation.

“I got pricked!”.

“It will go away in 10 minutes”.

And…

it did, just as Julie said.

Four hours of my six hour shift was spent with Julie.

Stocking some melons and peppers, but mostly herbs.

I learnt more about herbs than was necessary

and…

Julie’s meticulousness found its way

into my hands.

I started arranging the bins to look attractive

neat…

inviting to the eyes and to the touch.

I became present in the task before me instead of daydreaming the day away

planning for what would happen when I was done

when I got home

walked the dog and

prepared my lunch.

For those four hours working at the coop

I was in the now.

 

My Mother’s Day…

Golden brown hands with fingers like branches on a Dogwood tree
Nails trimmed with a faded dark red manicure

I often held your hands with its naturally etched road map of 91 years
The roadmap which exposed the journey of your hands long before they changed my IMG_2847diapers

Your hands were always soft and smelled of lotion
Lotion I forgot to rub on your hands as you lay dying at home

Those beautiful hands also had the medals of small burn marks from the cooking you did
When the oil decided to rebel after water touched it surface

Your hands made the best food, the best tea, the Bestest, best ever BLT
Your hands grabbed onto mine when we walked through icy streets to do grocery shopping

Your hands also gave me the finger, when I got on your nerves
I miss your hands so much as much as I miss you

I have only pictures of those hands that once held me and made the world less scary

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