On the wall of our dining room was a framed quotation:
“Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a
friend to man.” It inspired in me countless childhood
daydreams about meeting new people from exotic places.
I was a child who desperately wanted to connect with
others. We did live ‘by the side of the road’ ― on Route 9
between Keene and Portsmouth ― but in a place so
remote it was extremely difficult to be a ‘friend to man.’
Why couldn’t others also benefit from that value? I could
save people the trouble of going into the store by making
my produce accessible at the side of the road, and that
would provide value, too. Surely I could convince people
to pay half of what the grocery store charged and to feel
lucky about the bargain. Suddenly, I saw a connection
between those bumpy vegetables on our table and the
quotation on the wall; I found a way to satisfy my longing
for ____________________. These homely fruits and vegetables
would become my golden apples.
One day when our family drove into town, I focused
intently on the big, paper, grocery store signs advertising the
same type of produce that we grew: ‘carrots, 50 cents a
bunch,’ ‘tomatoes, 99 cents a pound.’ Meanwhile, I thought
of how the type of ‘imperfect’ produce we ate for dinner,
just as healthy as that sold at the store, was often tossed
on the compost heap or left in the ground.
* compost heap: 퇴비 더미
The unattractive produce such as crooked carrots and
odd-looking tomatoes was not valuable to the grocery
store, where only ‘perfect’ produce was sold. But I knew
they would have value to people who would chop them
into salads or soups, can them, or use them to make pies,
because that is what our family did with them. They were
fresh and clean and came straight from the good earth.