Tales from a Shopkeep

Tuesday I decided it was just too beautiful to stay inside. I just couldn’t. It was to be a studio day, a day in which I got shit done, but on my drive into downtown, the windows down, the 75 degree air blowing through my (albeit short) hair, I couldn’t bare to go in. I had collected leaves that morning on my way into work, in an attempt to be productive. I even made it into Fountain Square Mall. I parked in the back, took my leaves inside . . . started to cut the leather to fit the shape of the leaf. The wind was knocking on my windows. I could hear the birds chirping, competing with the sound and the buzz of electricity inside my dark cave (I don’t turn on the lights bc I wouldn’t want people to think the store was actually open!). I pressed a few leaves. I did my due diligence, and then I promptly got out of Dodge. I went to have lunch with the hubby. We sat on the patio at a local east side restaurant and enjoyed the light breeze. The sun shining. It’s August. Students are back, our kids are finally back in school (sort of), and here we are with an afternoon to lunch. He finished before me. It’s an odd day when he has to wait for me to finish lunch. I must have had so much to say. I feel alive in this air. I feel brimming with possibilities.

We left, to go home. Now it was time to write. I had emails and blog posts and press releases to create. All from the confines of my dark, air conditioned home office. I cringed. I couldn’t stay inside. Not on this day.
So, I grabbed the I-pad, and my Bluetooth keyboard, and set out for a park that is in town, but still surrounded by trees and breeze and silence. On way out the door Jim said to me, “Just don’t go on any trails’. And I stopped in my tracks. I remembered the story of the lone woman walking, no, running the track at the south side YMCA last week. She was attacked. In the middle of the day. While running. On a track. At the YMCA. And here I am, going to a secluded park, with no internet, likely no phone service, alone, by myself, to write a few emails because I wanted to enjoy this beautiful day.
I only paused, however. I took note. And then I still went. Because I can’t live in fear. We can’t live in fear. Sure, I stuck around for almost three hours, and every noise made my ears buzz. I kept an eye out for strange cars (even the taxi that came all the way out to evidently pick someone up from the woods?). But I couldn’t let it stop me. I wouldn’t. Because I deserved to be there as much as anyone else. To be able to enjoy the sound of birds and insects in their natural environments. To make friends with this little caterpillar who has found his true Love on my iPad screen. To see a deer come up, just 20 feet away from me, to eat some grass, and peek her head out into the world. To watch Lovers walk in from their cars parked next to mine, to disappear into the woods for a few minutes . . .
I’m glad I went out that day. I got much more done sitting there at that picnic table, somewhat frightened on and on edge, than I would have gotten done at home. I got to breathe the fresh air and think. Sometimes we all have to think a little . . .

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