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by Jenny Tisi

One of my most favorite things about where I live is how close I am to the Saturday morning Pasadena Farmer’s Market.  Since I am trying to lead a more relaxing, healthier, and mindful lifestyle, I decided that I would walk, which is only about a mile away.  I am not a meditative person at all.  I find it nearly impossible to just sit, breathe and be.  A therapist once told me that the act of meditating is meditating.  I’ve always tried to think about that.  So on my walk today, instead of putting in ear buds, I listened.

I absolutely love the walk down Paloma Street, which soon will be exploding with purple Jacarada blossoms. It is lined with the sweetest homes.  I took in the smells of freshly cut grass and sweet early spring flowers. At the end of the walk is what feels like another time and place to me. The farmer’s market – filled with a somewhat quiet hustle and bustle, all while hearing a Saturday morning soccer game in the field next door.  The San Gabriel Mountains are somewhat fogged in, light jackets are worn, the most glorious fruits and vegetables are presented as works of art, farmers quietly….or not so quietly boast of their crop, in hopes that people will come and buy.

IMG_8723And in the center of it all is the reason I come.  It’s the dear, elderly blind Latino man, who strums his guitar and sings the most glorious songs of his culture.  You all know who I am talking about. I can stand and watch him and every thought about everything goes away. He is a meditative space for me.  He brings me to a time and place that is not my life, yet I feel so alive and present in that moment.  He makes me smile.

I watch him sing and play, watch little children twirl around to his music, and watch others drop dollar bills in his bucket. He has no airs about him.  He is not a prideful musician.  His life seems so simple, yet I know he has struggled and probably has many stories to tell.  I wonder what his life is like.  I just wonder if he knows the joy he brings to others.

The next time I go to the market, instead of just dropping in a few bucks, I will write him a note that I hope someone will read to him someday.  It will be a note of thanks for the gift that he gives to me and to so many others.  Play on, sweet man.

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