The nursery used to be out in the country, but over six decades the city grew and surrounded it. But even still—it felt like country when we showed up to find where our booth would be at their annual Art Fair. The sturdy man pointed out a lovely front and central section in the main greenhouse for our Whitewash and Co booth.
Would we be needing one gardener’s table or two? One.
He gestured to his grandson to climb off the second table. The little guy was so intent on climbing and unclimbing–we watched as he lowered his bucket of water first to the handcart nearby. But it didn’t work out so well and he was quickly caught akimbo.
“Some people like to get off the table first and then take their bucket down, “his grandfather casually mentioned.
The little boy, fresh hair-cut and round, blue eyes stopped in mid-kimbo. He considered the notion, freckled forehead in wrinkled calculation. And when he decided that might be a better idea, up came the bucket and down went his feet. And off his grandpa went to help another artist, calling over his shoulder to go ahead and leave the payment with Michael.
Michael’s eyes grew rounder. We surveyed our plot, and Michael loaded up his handcart with his bucket of water. Did we know he’d be working in the food booth tomorrow beneath the apple trees? And did we know he’d be eight tomorrow, on his birthday? And did we know the best part of working with his grandfather was being in charge of the water bucket?
We think the trees, bursting yellow, have been waiting for us to show. Inside the old nursery, the sturdy man stokes a grand wood stove and the scent of autumn swirls around us. Outside he and Michael have been popping popcorn in large kettles–for tomorrow’s Art Show. The sky is blue, the pumpkins have been thumped and found ripe. Someone in the upper terraced garden is wrapping corn stalks with twine. Tomorrow is a new start for us. We go home to sleep.