I remembered the rule I made for myself in the days when I walked to the local library in Emmaus. “Check out only as many books as you can carry home.”
Today as I walked to the shops, I reminded myself I’d be carrying my purchases home. I left the green grocer with one bag full of lettuce, tomatoes, dill, oranges and strawberries and as I walked through the grocery store I exercised restraint and stayed with my shopping list. At the checkout counter, I grasped a bag in each hand and the thin plastic handles stretched tight, but held.
It was when I crossed the street that I saw her, a woman who had just been to the market herself. But she had her produce in one very big plastic bag and carried it gracefully on her head, her arms gently swaying, her hands empty. She was perfectly aligned and moved with elegance and ease as I trudged along shrugging my shoulders, my fingers numb and now deeply indented by the handles.
Too bad it wasn’t in style to carry things on your head when I was a little girl in Philadelphia.