Today I went with a new friend who lives on my street to the resort village neighbouring our town to visit the flea market and take in one of the antique stores, the lakeside coffee shop, and visit one of her acquaintance’s shops.
Now, this village is where many artists choose to live and congregate and this acquaintance’s shop, it turns out, is a lovely artist shop that was partly full of her and her husband’s creations and some from others. I thought it was wonderful. My spirit felt a little tangled as I left after purchasing a few little treasures that I could afford. It was tangled from a heavy wistfulness that wanted the life this shop represented, full of creating hands and simplicity and loveliness but that I knew will take a while to manifest in my own life. I have a lot of catching-up work ahead of me to make enough of my own creations, and to make them well enough, to introduce myself fully into this community.
I came out knowing, though, that this kind of life is what I want now, that this is what all my life was meant to finally direct me to.
After returning home I realized that a door knob purchased from the antique store wasn’t going to work for the door it was intended for. I went back to return it as the village is only five minutes away and, since I was alone, I decided to go to an outdoor gallery full of well-constructed rustic wood outbuildings that housed the creations of several artists.
I’m new-ish in the town I’m living in and had been bedridden off-and-on for most of the years here because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Because of this I’m only now well enough to begin exploring and not so riddled with anxiety anymore that I could enjoy being alone looking at the art and handmades. So I walked around the outdoor gallery soaking in the atmosphere as much as looking at the wares.
I had already decided some time ago that now is the time that I want to reinvent myself to be the person I am if I didn’t constantly worry about fitting in or looking over my shoulder to see if I met the expectations of my scapegoating and rejecting family. Today was the day that I took that decision and super-sized it.
I was among my kind of people today. They were friendly, the sort of genuine friendliness that’s born from people who consider it a moral duty. It’s the kind of friendliness you can rely on. This one young lady in particular had a makeup-less face that shone when she smiled as she let me know that she cut and polished her own stones before fashioning them within their silver jewelry casing. I once was told that my face shone like that many years ago when I first became a Christian in my 30s. Fifteen years and the tail end of the worst part of a chronic illness later, I want it to again, by the renewal of my health and the gathering of blessings that came from the ordeal.
The metal sculpturist brought up the summer mugginess to me, good-naturedly describing himself as too fat and old for it. He was honest in his description but definitely on the “but not too much” side of both traits, and he wore an awesome full beard that went just right with his occupation.
Right in the middle of it all was a very large flower garden that one could meander through. A lady, who looked up and smiled, was attending it with one of those oversized watering cans. There must have been a reason why a hose wasn’t being used, such as it being so far from a spigot that it would necessitate an annoyingly long hose, and I thought it more picturesque this way anyway. I don’t know if it was her garden or a community garden, but she looked content with the watering work it was asking from her.
I bought two little inexpensive copper rings as a token purchase from the girl selling her handmade jewelry. I’m in the same financially tight lifestyle as they are but happily wanted to pay my way for the looking and chatting. I am going to begin to visit a bit more and get to know more of the people in that village this summer.
My eyes, ears, and heart felt at home and even sighed a bit, I think. It’s time to embrace my creative side again and finally be with my kind of people.