|Sojiji Temple, April 8, 2012|
I don't know why I was surprised to see him there. He's never where I think he should be. That's tending his fruit and vegetable store, one of the last mom and pop shops in Temple Valley. Dubbed "the vagabond vegetable vendor," for his appearance and the meager state of his poor vegetable emporium, he spends most of his working hours away from the store.
If you want to buy one of the few dried oranges or sprouting onions dumped in the plywood bin that sits beneath the frayed awning of his weather beaten stall, you'll have to track him down. He could be just about anywhere though, standing inside the convenience store reading the latest news items fresh off the magazine rack, soaking up the rays of sun on one of the funky chairs that make up the local bus stop, or as he often does, sweeping from one end of this little valley to the other.
There's really no telling where he could be, just where he isn't. I used to think that it was a miracle that he was able to stay in business. Now I know it is for sure, standing there in that heavenly light I came to the sudden realization that this vagabond vegetable vendor was among the truly blessed.