Sunday in Paris is market day. We live 10 minutes away from one of the most wonderful street markets in Paris. Bordering several blocks of magnificent limestone architecture, where during daylight hours, almost everything appears portable, the merchants of Rue Levi open its secrets.
Boulangeries, poiseneres and produce sellers line up to sack, measure, cut and weigh the treasures of the day. Men and women wielding large movable cases loaded with goods appear from recessed glass walls, pulling all that they offer out into the street. In essence, doubling the square footage of their small intimate shops. Rolling striped awnings, which bear their name proudly and hang protectively over their bounty, they tie the strings of long white aprons and prepare for the commerce of the day. Warm baguettes mysteriously find their way to baskets. Crevettes, lobster, muscles, scallops and clams rest on piles of crushed ice. Leeks, tall and stately in white, stand above bunches of red radis whose flowing green leaves are bound tightly together forming bouquets of peppery flowers. Tomates in shades of orange and purple peek quietly from behind forest green zucchini. Aubergene carefully juxtaposed against red and yellow peppers or leaning against artichokes like a Van Gogh painting, fight for attention. It is a feast for the senses beyond compare.
Families, young and old stroll the streets, examining books, eating ice cream, sitting in cafes drinking coffee, pushing children in strollers or walking hand in hand, most often while adorning back packs, cloth trolleys or sacks burgeoning with the g of goodness of Sunday lunch. Baguettes protrude from bags or decorate the hands of many a passerby. The smell of pasteries and cheese draws pulls you closer as the owners smile knowingly, greeting everyone who enters with a “Bonjour Madame, Monsieur”.
Just another Sunday in Paris. Just another opportunity to redefine the possible, to imagine a life where shortly merchants will roll up the awnings, pull items from their glass cases and close their doors to join their own family for wine, food and company, followed most likely by a short afternoon rest.
Oh to live like the Parisian ………..where food is not only relished by the palate, but is an art form in presentation as well.
For example, it is mushroom season here now, and the French can even make mushrooms beautiful. While vendor after vendor line the street calling out to passersby, “Champignons” Quatorze euros quatre-vingt-dix-neuf par kilo, the quest for the cook becomes how to uniquely integrate the multiple variations of fungi into the evening meal, dried morels on a flatbread, chanterelles hidden under chicken thighs in coq au vin, Swiss brown mushrooms roasted with goat cheese or black trumpets simmered in cream for an evening soup.
Anything feels possible here.
And you? How do you define possible? Is it a Sunday afternoon market, traveling somewhere you have always longed to go, finishing the book you started 15 years ago?
My new life became a possibility for me after I developed a writing practice that lead to me finishing my first book. Until then I am not sure I believed the life I live now was possible.
But since that time I have written and published my second book and am almost 200 pages into my novel, which is will be finished by December 1st.
Writing took me on a journey of redefining the possible. It can do the same for you.
Hit me up here in Paris and I will tell you how to do too.
I wanted to leave you with a few words of inspiration from a truly inspirational man, Langston Hughes, a man who fought racism and hatred all of his life, with the most powerful weapon known, the pen.
“Hold fast to dreams. For if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”