Monday, November 7, 2011

Snippets from the Produce Section

It was a regular Thursday night at the grocery store. No big deal. Preoccupied and checking off my mental list of items, I careened my cart in to the produce aisle. And there it was: a simple, hand-written sign -- above the Baby Spinach: "Teenage Spinach ~ discounted prices while supplies last!"
Now, here's why I laughed out loud: I had given a quick once-over to the Baby Spinach, pretty much deciding it was over the hill. No longer crispy, a bit weathered around the edges. But when I spotted the little sign, I decided to buy some. After all, who can resist a bargain?
Whoever wrote that sign is a true visionary, a person with the keen ability to see a deficit and turn it into something appealing. Visionaries are hopeful types, gleaning the happiest from a situation and making it rise to the top.
And this is why I practically skipped out to my car on an ordinary Thursday night, Teenage Spinach and all. What had appeared used up, unsavory, and rather unremarkable had, with a little spin on the name, become a package of potential; a leafy green worth picking through; a symbol of what it means to make the most of a deteriorating situation.
Okay, I know it was just a bag of fresh spinach (well, not so fresh). For me, however, the clever little sign infused a fresh spirit of hope into my landscape. It was just what I needed.
And, just so you know, the "teenage" spinach offered a generous garnish in a few salads, not to mention a colorful addition to my scrambled eggs in the morning.
"Pay attention to details," my English teacher said, so many years ago. "You can miss so much by not reading the captions."
Well, she was right of course. If you see a middle-aged Mom in Aisle 3-B, poring over the labels, that's probably me...gleaning the most potential from the least likely source.