winter(verb): Opalite Rabbit

Opalite Rabbit

The Pacific Palisades Farmers Market allowed me to relive two of my most vivid childhood memories: eating sun-ripened tomatoes and raspberries from their plants in my grandparents’ backyard and spending Saturday mornings tasting so many food samples at the membership-only wholesale club, while my dad did household shopping, that I wouldn’t be hungry for lunch.

I had never seen so much fresh, beautiful produce in my life, let alone in January, the worst month for produce in the Garden State – so awful, in fact, that I had been known to weep over a bag of sweet cherries imported from Chile, $9.99/lb. The teal-blue pint containers of berries – strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries – were arranged like squares on an heirloom quilt. The farmers market stretched at least a full block, and nearly every vendor presented a luscious array of samples: citrus, grapes, apple slices, nut butters, gourmet spreads, etc.

I wanted to buy at least one of everything but knew that, with only three more days in Los Angeles, I still had so much more food to eat. Compromising, I chose a pair of perfect apples that I could enjoy as a light breakfast.

Other vendors at the farmers market were selling nonperishable items. At one table, a middle-aged woman was displaying her healing crystals. I picked up a miniature, carved opalite rabbit and admired it.

“Are you a tourist?” she asked.

I nodded, though I didn’t like that I could be distinguished so easily from a local. Was it my pale skin?

“I knew it,” she said. “You have a clarity I don’t often see in Los Angeles. The locals always seem cloudy.”

I turned the cool, carved opal over in my palm.

“I’m just seeing this for the first time,” I said.


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