Years ago I spied my favorite pail at the Armada Flea Market. Light gray enamel with a graceful mouth wider than the bottom, it called my name.
More a large bowl than a bucket, the utilitarian design includes two handles. The lathed, wood grip in the middle of the long metal handle fits my hand perfectly. The pail swings and sings when carried.
The other handle is welded to the rim, I presume for hanging on a wall to keep the inside dry and rust free. The person who created my garden friend knew a thing or two about conservation and thrift.
Speaking of, I can’t remember the cost. But I’ll tell you right now, no amount of money can tempt me to sell her.
Yes, my pail’s an indispensible she.
I’ve not yet named her. She’ll tell me when she’s in the mood.
My marvelous find has served many purposes in her years of service here. She held all manner of lavender products in our farm’s gift shop. I could’ve sold her a hundred times.
After I liquidated the store, that trusty handle lay untouched until I went searching for the perfect sized container to carry our grape harvest into the kitchen. Our four champagne grape vines produce enough to fill her to the brim and yield twenty pints of grape lavender jelly.
Incidentally, my farm companion is also a heart and back saver since I carry our load below my waist.
Be it beets, onions, garlic, or tomatoes, my Armada Flea Market treasure holds up without a sign of resigning. She now waits in the garage beside the remnants of our peach harvest for our pears to ripen—a meager crop, but enough to risk for a pear cake recipe that caught my eye.
There’s still cabbage, squash, and some beans to carry up to the house in my bargain castaway. Through the years, I’ve wondered where this humble and purposeful item came from, and what will happen to her when I pass to Glory. I visualize her crammed in some storage unit, her handle resting on the rim.
Or worse, left at the end of our driveway in the rain.
In the scope of eternity, this year’s harvest and the implements we use to ease our labor are insignificant matters. However, today, and until our last breath, we must grow and eat food. And it’s most enjoyable and beneficial if we perceive and appreciate our provisions and health in doing so, particularly in the presence of family and friends.
Perhaps this is one reason why Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance, sold seven million copies since published in 1995. Since, cell phones have become America’s most abundant and omnipresent companion.
  Dear Reader, considering this distraction from the simple abundance of the natural world and family life, this makes my peach harvest and favorite pail all the more meaningful and dear to me.
For me, it’s these simple things that build the abundant life.
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