Even amidst the most hectic and bustling of local Caribbean markets there are quiet moments to be cherished; little scenes, easily missed, starring little people that bring smiles to all, while triggering long-lost memories in former islanders like me.
This past Saturday, at the La Reine Farmer’s Market back home in St. Croix, I enjoyed just such a moment with the little guy pictured above.
I don’t know who he was or anything about him, just that he was tagging along with a woman I assumed to be his mother as she shopped. I probably wouldn’t have noticed him at all if not for the heaping mound of sorrel that seemed to enthrall him as his mom engaged in conversation with the seller several heads and shoulders above.
Standing there watching him repeatedly rising to his tippy-toes to gain a better look at the rich-red herbs that would eventually become that most cherished of Christmas drink treats I was transported back to my childhood days tagging along with my mom to the old local market in Christiansted.
For a few brief moments I found myself lost in his curiosity, the words of all the adults fading to indecipherable Peanuts-style drivel. Their big words didn’t matter, not here in the market. Not now with all that great sorrel right at eye-level.
Could he know what sorrel even was; what delectable drinks all those red wonders would yield?
I didn’t ask. It didn’t matter.
For me (and I’m guessing for him too), it was more than enough to stand spellbound by all that sumptuous sorrel.
La Reine Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from 6am to noon. You’ll find it right next to the Chicken Shack across from the La Reine Shopping Mall. Get there early for the best produce… and quiet moments.