This morning I went to the Lunenburg Farmer’s Market, held every Thursday morning during the summer. Although we arrived early, there was already a sizeable crowd, with long lines of people patiently waiting at some of the booths, especially for the raspberries (first of the season) and the fresh fish. At one end of the market, a guitar and fiddler played some merry Nova Scotia folk tunes, while people sat at the small open-air tables drinking the locally roasted coffee and munching on freshly baked croissants and muffins.
I was struck by how happy, friendly and relaxed everyone looked. Is it just that most of these people are here on Nova Scotia’s South Shore for vacation? Is it Canada? I think it must be some combination. People are different here. There simply isn’t any of the abrasiveness, arrogance or hyped-up pace that we see frequently among the summer people who flood into the Berkshires, coming mostly from New York and New Jersey. Even the locals here seem more laid back than the Berkshire folk at home. There is less glamour here: there are hardly any of the “beautiful people,” and it’s rare to see anyone stylishly dressed. You don’t see women checking each other out competitively the way we do at home. You can tell that no one is running to the gym or the yoga class (are there any yoga classes here?); there are no flashily dressed long-distance bikers, no troupes of Harley-Davidsons roaring through town, very few fancy cars or signs of conspicuous consumption.
Indeed, if shopping is your thing, this is not the place to be—there simply isn’t much to buy here. But if you take the time to get to know people, what you’ll find are a lot of creative, individualistic people, all busy and happy doing their own thing. When they come together, as at the Thursday Farmer’s Market in Lunenburg, there is a hum of joyful camaraderie that is infectious, almost like a the hum of a contented, productive bee hive, where everyone is working alongside each other in a supportive, collaborative manner. People stop to help each other here all the time—it seems to be a reflex. They’ll smile and stop to chat at any opportunity, just to exchange friendly vibes, the way bees stroke each other with their antennae as they go about their busy days.
Something tells me I could be very happy as part of this Nova Scotia hive….