“Do not resent growing old, many are denied the privilege.”
– Irish proverb
This is Marília Sousa Silva Brandão. She’s been selling chickens at the Mercado do Bolhão in Porto for sixty-five years.
I go back to the market everyday and walk up and down the rows taking it all in, knowing the market will never be the same after the renovations. The ripped tarps will be replaced with shiny new glass. The chipped walls will be plastered over. Everything spiffy and new and sanitized. Some people will love the changes. The upgrades may even make life easier for the vendors. But at what cost?
When I go to a market I want the air to be filled with the smell of fish and flowers. I want the worn out tarp to let drops of rain hit my head. I want to feel the crush of shoppers push against me in the narrow rows. I want to see the dirt, scraps and piles of boxes. I want to believe I’ve discovered something special simply by being there.
I’m here now. I breath, I see, I feel. And I believe.