“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.
due to the Corona, all shifts have been suspended and most members have been hired to work for…
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.
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”.
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
Julie’s meticulousness found its way
into my hands.
I started arranging the bins to look attractive
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.