Today we spent the early morning hours downtown. We ambled through Munn Park, threw pennies into a small fountain, and walked along sidewalks, waiting for the shops to open. Today, being the first Friday of the month, Lakeland will host an event downtown with local vendors, and the shops will stay open late. I felt a certain frenetic energy in the air, though the only bustle was that of the coffee shop crowd wandering in and out of doors with drinks in hand. Perhaps it was an anticipatory feeling, after reading the various signs warning: Event Today – No Parking After 3:00PM. Being back downtown felt good. There is a strange feeling of timelessness there. People are friendly and say hello, know us by name. We pick up where we left off months ago. There’s a feeling of: this can only happen here. A friend from the market is hanging a great big hand made Kraken from a second story building, its tentacles reaching over and through the wrought-iron gate on the balcony. Everywhere else are small seasonal garden flags, posters advertising fall festivals and pumpkin spiced beverages, and benches accented with pots of basil along storefronts. I am bubbling with laughter.
We greet our friend Yvonne just as she opens the doors to the Black Swan Bazaar. Once, many years ago, Will and I wandered into her shop on a chilly evening. She and her husband Richard greeted us with such warmth, and sent us home with a huge bundle of rosemary sprigs from their garden. Another time when I was 9 months pregnant with Piper, Yvonne drove me to my car a few blocks away, as it was raining outside. A special store run by special people indeed; the Black Swan Bazaar is home to plenty of local artisan work and vintage finds, ranging from handmade aprons and jewelry to garden décor, old books, retro kitchenware, records, repurposed furniture, and various other glimmering and glinting treasures. In the very back of the store there is a section just for natural artisan soaps and candles by Kim, the kind lady who owns Rafa Natural. Today I took home a couple of her candles — one smells of pumpkin and the other like lemon verbena. In my dreams I’m burning them in a clean house and friends or family can drop by to drink a cup of tea I’ve brewed in my clean kitchen and we’re all sitting around the clean dining table chatting. A work in progress, what can I say?
Will is home for lunch, and I want to spend some time with him. He has a new blog now, where you can read about his journey to create and perform some original music in the next ten months, here. I’ve just finished reading his most recent post and it’s wonderful and new for me, too. Though I have heard him recount some of the stories he has shared already, and they are like cherished treasures to me, seeing them written down is somehow different and exciting.
Enjoy your weekend!