Oh, what a joy! One of my very favorite things to do in LA has begun again! Well, it's tied for second. The Yamashiro Farmer's Market is back for another summer! It cropped up two summers ago and it's been my love ever since. It's an evening farmer's market up at Yamashiro's and it couldn't be more perfect. Someone's absolutely genius brainchild. God, that was a good idea! I can't even get over it.
It always feels to me like a gypsy caravan came through town and set up for the night. My dream! Only it's every week and I feel like the luckiest girl because it's right up the hill from me. I am the luckiest girl. There's music and wine and food and crafts and people are dancing and everyone is joyous. The stands are lined up on a driveway that winds around the hill overlooking the whole sparkling city. It's just the best view.
Basically, there's one of every type of stand: arts, crafts, jewelry, food, wine, beer, fruits, vegetables, cheese, pastries, popcorn, middle eastern dips, and the trail mix stand where you seriously can try everything all night long with no shame because they're so eager to share every single little spicy peanut and lemon almond and pepita and cranberry and granola and just everything. I do always leave bearing some sort of trail mix, so the tactic works.
At this point, it seems that anyone who knows me has to go to that farmer's market with me at some point or another. It's just so me. It's like part of the required reading for my friendship. Which makes sense. If you're going to know me, you're going to know the things I love the best. Lucky you. I love some good things!
I went to the opening night by myself, which was lovely and romantic. I was so excited walking up there, and then, as I approached, I heard the music filtering down the hillside and smiled and was just like, welcome back, old friend. I perused the stands, and took it all in and left with a bag full of goodies, as usual.
Then, I took my AT&T friend up there this past week. How I love introducing it to people! We went around tasting everything, then got some food and sat on a curb to eat and enjoy the music and conversation and the rotund hubbub of that dreamlike gypsy paradise.
I'm so glad it's back again, but I will say, I felt some changes this year. Some were obvious, and others, they're subtle, but noticeable to me because I've just gone there so many times. And because I was there from the start of it. But, it seems like, because it got so popular, they had to start placing restrictions and rules on the whole event. Which is just what happens in time.
The best example is that back in the good old days, the stand that served wine and beer served the big bottles of Singha, so everyone was walking around with these big bottles of beer like we were all Alice in Wonderland. Well, AT&T and I went to get a beer, and this year, they're serving little plastic cups of tap beer. I understand. Someone probably dropped a bottle last summer and the broken glass seemed like too much of a liability and plastic cups are just safer and you can charge the same for less. But I did like the old way better.
Everyone's always making life just a little bit too tidy for my tastes. I like it ramshackle and boundless. That's my favorite way.
But that's just a general complaint about the world. I will love the Yamashiro Farmer's Market still, rules and all, to the depth of me. I'm going back this week with my usual crew, as a matter of fact. It really is one of my favorite things to do here.
I will admit, though, that all of the changes got me reminiscing. There was that small window of time that I will remember fondly, when it was pure and magical and unhinged and not as restricted and not as calculated. I do believe it's like that with a lot in life. Like, there are glory days for everything, when an experience is unbound and free. Before too much thought is put in to it. Before it settles into the confines of the world.
But if nothing changed, I just don't know if we'd be as excited to experience it all. Because that's what drives us. Knowing that things are not forever. I've always felt that way. My happiness and enthusiasm are born of my understanding that I cannot hold on to anything. It all passes and changes. So I enjoy and find ways to love it while I can.
Sometimes, I think I seem like an endless bundle of optimism, because so many little things excite and amaze me. But, I will tell you right now, with conviction, it is all held up by the precious and fragile undercurrent of sorrow in life. I am forever aware of the ceaseless changes. I want desperately to hold on to everything tightly as exactly what I've loved it for being, but I know that I can't. Because it is all rapidly passing and forever continuing. So I loosen my grip.
I've always been hyper aware that I have to fluctuate and stay with the current and not resist. Everything's moving, always, continually, ceaselessly.
Life is the river that Heraclitus knew. You can stay put, but you will never be in exactly the same place. It's always changing, it's always new. And so, the farmer's market changes, and I, as with every small push and pull of life, I will stay amazed and engaged and always find new details to fall in love with.