Today is Market Day at Kentville again, about 50 miles up the Annapolis Valley—which is the large agricultural area of Nova Scotia. More produce is grown, fruit trees cover the area, berry bushes abound. We have gone there two times already (it is held every Wednesday in downtown Kentville) so this was the last time for us to go there for this trip.
We drove there using the old road—Highway 1—instead of the faster moving freeway-like 101. The road takes you through small towns along the way that have beautiful old homes dating back into the early 1900s or earlier. There are many homes for sale, even some of the very beautiful ones. The road also passes through some of those communities that bear only a name but nothing else. It is a pleasant drive mostly at 55 mph or less but on a sunny day with little else to do it is nice to just drive along slowly and look at what is along the road.
The market is held downtown on a parking lot surrounded by other existing businesses. Farmers bring their produce. Crafts persons bring what they have made—soap, woodwork products, things that whirl in the wind, and other things that catch the eye. Prepared foods are offered by part time restaurateurs. Bakers bring their breads and pastries. Sometimes there is music provided by a couple of musicians playing guitar and banjo or fiddle.
The atmosphere is almost fair-like with people visiting and laughing, stopping to look at the many booths, sampling some of the food products, buying things to put in their shopping bags. In weeks past we have bought vegetables and bread from a nice couple who seem to be of the Mennonite faith. She wears a bonnet and a long dress with an apron. He wears plain gray clothing most times. They grow and sell green beans, onions, garlic, and blueberries. She makes several kinds of bread—we love the oatmeal molasses bread and have bought a loaf of it each time we have been there.
Doris bought a sarong from a woman who makes them for sale at the market. The woman is named Joyce and she has chatted with us each time we have been there. Two weeks ago when we were talking to her she told us that she is Irish and she comes from Cape Breton Island. She told us about the Red Shoe Pub (which we intended to visit when we were there) and about the singers called the Rankins who own it. Then she began to sing an Irish folksong to us as we all stood there in the market. She has a lovely voice and the song was a slow sad song about someone telling someone else goodbye. She laughed when she stopped and apologized for her voice not being good, which I told her she was mistaken. She sang beautifully.
We also met a woman who sells homemade skin care products that contain emu oil. She calls herself Nana and that is on her label. She was intrigued by our being from Texas and said her husband is a bluegrass singer and had been to Texas. She said she knew someone by the same name as a woman Doris taught with years ago. We still have to investigate if it is the same person when we get home.
Everyone at the market who met Bo loved him. Bo was the center of attention many times, drawing people to leave their booths and come over to look at him and ask about him. People cannot believe that he is 9 years old since he looks very puppy like.
The markets happen in many towns in this area weekly during the summer months. We will go to the Annapolis Royal market this Saturday for the last time before we leave on Sunday to begin our journey back to Texas. We really do not go to them looking for specific items but we usually find things that we enjoy seeing or tasting or learning about. There is a community spirit there. Even if one buys little or nothing, it is the experience of being a part of it that brings some meaning to life.
Being part of the market is similar to being part of the religious community. When we all gather to share a common experience, we belong to a higher purpose than we do alone. We share in the experience of worship, of course, breaking bread and drinking wine and singing and listening and praying. We share in the lives of one another as we share joys and concerns together and support each other in myriad ways. The shared experience happens in many avenues of life but in the Christian community it has a purpose and meaning that transcends all the other experiences in life.
Each of us is important to the whole that we call the Body of Christ. Each of us has a purpose that is important to the Body as a whole and if a member of it is absent then it is not complete. What each person contributes is unique and cannot be provided by others in the same exact manner even if someone else does what is needed to be done. The Body cannot function well unless all its parts are working in good order and are doing the jobs they are designed to do. Each part of the Body of Christ must be present in order for it to be complete. That is one reason why we miss individuals when they are not present for worship and work that needs to be done. Each one is needed and necessary.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the One Spirit we are all baptized together into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:12-13)