Thursday, September 06, 2007


Now and then I think about this woman and I hate the thought that she might somehow be forgotten.


There was a woman named Anne, I never knew her last name, who sold garlic in the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In the first two years I visited the market I rarely spoke to her at all – I just stopped in each week or so and bought some of her beautiful garlic bulbs. Some days she would have exotic looking beans, large and purple and swollen in their pods and she would tell me how she and her husband liked to prepare them and I would try it that way and report back to her.
She was long and thin and her white hair was often tucked under a straw hat and her clothes fit loose and blue around her like they were hanging from the back of a wooden chair.
She had one small table in the market and on it she spread her garlic and her beans and the herbs she grew and packaged in small envelopes with hand-printed labels. I’m glad I kept one or two of those packets and one or two of the bouquet garni’s she prepared for me, because a few months ago I noticed she was no longer showing up at the market. And then one day I saw her sign, sitting on the table of another organic farmer, “Tweefontein” it read, a hand written sign in the same hand as the labels on her herbs packets and below the sign was another, written in a different hand saying that Anne was ill and could no longer make it to the market to sell her garlic.
I wrote her twice, I don’t think she knew who I was really. I didn’t hear back from her. She died shortly thereafter, before I had the chance to thank her for all the wonderful tastes and smells she shared with me and for all of the joy and magic she brought by being the garlic lady in my life.


Blogger Jul said...

What a lovely way to preserve her memory.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Snooker said...

Anne will live on forever now that you've told the world how she touched you. Thank you for sharing.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

This made me soooo sad! Unexpectedly so.

It's beautifully written... and I haven't had my morning coffee yet. Combined, they form the perfect melancholy for the sad story of Anne.


4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wimmern ausgezeichnetes blog! Auch Schlechtes kann ich nicht Deutsches vollständig verstehen. Hoffnung sprichst du Spanischen und kannst mein blog besuchen

But Inglish is good nice.. Very nice... It is really moving to hear such a personal story, not know the individual but yet feel something within move.

Thank you I needed that!

3:23 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Thank you for telling us about Anne.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

Thanks for sharing this treasure of Anne, all the more special to you, too, I hope, for having shared your memory of her.

9:49 PM  

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