Aug 15, 2015

Lessons from Bok Choy

A few days ago I walked into the Buford Farmers Market at 8am when it first opened. I made my way through the vast fruit and vegetable section and on this particular day, it was me and the vegetables and the fruits and a few of the employees stocking lettuce, celery, all the herbs, cilantro, mint, rosemary, dill, parsley, and on and on and on. 

I was a bit surprised to be there by myself, usually there are people from local restaurants stocking up on fresh supplies of fruit and veggies. It was like being on a stage or movie set, I was the only customer in that section of the market and it's a big big area. 

On this shopping trip I needed the usuals suspects for my spinach shakes: spinach, mint leaves, pineapple and pickled ginger. While making my way, the music playing overhead was a track from Amy Winehouse, I think the song is called, You Know I'm No Good. My brain dialed into the song detail and I chuckled. 

I would have never known this song, I am not good with music titles, and band names, etc. Two weeks ago I went to see the documentary movie on Amy Winehouse and it certainly left an impression on my heart.  Her voice, the video footage of her early days, the raw video of her rise to fame, it was poignant, sad, sad, compelling and frustrating. 

The movie was unedited video archives. And with Amy it was what you see is what you get 100% of the time. She was so many things; when you listen to her voice during the film you get to see and hear all of AMY, the good, the bad, the genius, the little girl, the lost girl. The footage of her and Tony Bennett made my cry. Her voice was unusual, it was brilliant and certainly one of a kind. 

So back to the market, once I recognize the song, I dial into thinking about how unique Amy was and then I am thinking about how unique all the vegetables are in the market, there are so many I don't even know what they are, and by then I am at the BOK CHOY section of the vegetables.  And there they are beautiful, fresh, bouquets of choy, in order, by type, lined up, stacked up, ready for the taste buds of many. 

While listening to the Amy Winehouse song, I am thinking how the BOK CHOY is nature's song and poetry.  The vegetable is beautiful and there are so many types. Up until a few years ago, I did not even know there was BOK CHOY at the market, I never ventured that far into the vegetable section. I thought about the genius of Amy's voice and the genius of Mother Nature. 

There were 2 or 3 minutes where what I am seeing and hearing translates in my mind into feelings, emotions, ideas, considerations of all that is readily available for us appreciate and be grateful for. Simple things like Bok Choy. 

And then because I know I want to write about that 2 or 3 minutes, I take  photos. The choys are many: Bok Choy, Taku Choy, Taiwan Bok Choy, Bok Choy Sum, Fresh Yuchoy and Choy SHer Li. 

I've only tried two of the choys. The stalk has a taste like celery, (sort of) and the leaves are mild, they add great color and texture to any stir fry, always cooked al dente, so they are crunchy. And from all that I've read, the vegetable is healthy and packed with nutrients and vitamins.

And from that day forward I am certain that anytime I hear an Amy Winehouse song I am going to think of Bok Choy. Anytime I hear an Amy Winehouse song I am going to remind myself to slow down and admire and take in and recognize the beauty in all of the detail that surrounds us.   

I know I go way too fast. Learning to slow down is a lesson I will always be learning.