As always, welcome everyone old and new, I am so glad you are here devoting a part of your day to reading my musings. It truly is a blessing to have anyone reading my words so from my heart, I truly thank you! In my last post I mentioned I would devote all posts this month to intangible, priceless and eternal gifts. In the spirit of the season, I have called these Eternal Christmas Gifts but really, they are gifts for every day of the year. I had planned to create several posts focusing on many of the attributes I speak of often in this blog – compassion, generosity, love, caring and so on. It then occurred to me that all these virtues are simply a network of intermingling paths ready to be traveled upon at any point in life. These paths are winding taking us here and there but eventually and spectacularly converging. I would not call this convergence a destination but merely an opening and a beginning of self-discovery.
The Paths Are WindingIn one of my absolute favorite books, The Hobbit, Gandalf convinces the reluctant Bilbo to partake in a “grand adventure”. He left the comfort of his cozy, warm hobbit hole and set out with a group of 13 dwarves. Slowly they set out by pony affording Bilbo the opportunity to take in everything as they traveled. This is how I am when I go on my walks. I embark on grand adventures. Granted I don’t travel through Rivendell, the Misty Mountains or Mirkwood (although I wish I could) but I do uncover many exciting paths during my long (often 5 miles or more) walks.
This past Saturday, I started out at a typical spot by alighting at the Broadway and I-25 train station. The plan was to make my way toward the city center (16th Street Mall) but find things to take photos of along the way. So you can picture it in your head, I always have a camera bag around my neck, a comfy sweater on – well during the colder months – (walking tends to make you very warm and despite the cold, I ALWAYS underdress because I don’t like sweating) and a tote bag (with another tote back, wallet, gum and car keys tucked inside) being held in my right hand. I don’t fasten the camera bag because I may call upon it at any moment to take a photo of something – anything – that happens to catch my eye.
You may already be asking yourself, what does this have to do with eternal Christmas gifts or anything I spoke of at the beginning of this post. To that, I implore you to please bear with me. I’m getting there. 🙂
Recently I discovered a fun little shop called Mutiny Information Cafe. I would pass this along the way, so I thought I would pop in. I looked around a bit, but nothing struck my fancy. My feet were longing for more, so I was off again. Already, I had snapped many photos. Have a look:
I glanced down the side streets, but I did not deviate from heading up Broadway (or is it down? I think it is up.) This is not typical of me, but I did have a sort of destination in mind contrary to my typical modus operandi as I do not believe in destinations per se. At any rate, I did have a mission of sorts. One of the main reasons I was downtown was to purchase some tea for a friend. Still, despite this ‘mission’, I could not disappoint Gandalf whose voice is always in my head when I am out and about. Besides, I always have ulterior motives when I am downtown.
The Broadway Book Mall
Remembering what I said about ulterior motives just a second ago, I would like to share with you a book store that holds a very special place in my heart – The Broadway Book Mall
The moment you enter you are enveloped by stacks of old, previously loved books and all the intoxicating aromas they emit. I love this store so much and always find something unique. The owners are extremely kind and VERY knowledgeable. I really should make it a point to go in every time I am downtown. During this visit, I picked up the Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. My copy has yellowed pages with markings inside – perfectly aged. I now realize I must set out to get the Tao of Pooh as well. I should call to see if they have that in stock or could possibly order it in for me.
You may be asking what the ulterior motive was to go into an old, musty bookstore. Well first, don’t you just LOVE old, musty bookstores? Beyond that beautiful quality, The Broadway Book Mall is an independently run and operated bookstore. When I buy something from them, I am supporting the wonderful couple running it and not lining the pockets of some corporate conglomerate. I choose where I shop very carefully and this my friends represents path number one.
Time to Eat
After a few miles, my body cried out begging for nourishment. I obliged by entering a small sandwich shop. Sustenance obtained, I was once again on my way.
Until this point I steered clear of the primary high traffic areas, but I did have some specific things I needed to accomplish. I still had to get tea to send to a friend for Christmas and I had to start thinking about heading home as evening was fast approaching. The randomness of my journey more or less ended and I set myself to task. I entered the tea shop, ordered a wild blueberry iced tea for myself (yum) and picked up the tins for my friend and then headed to the bustling 16th Street Mall. I could have hopped one of the free shuttles that would inevitably take me all the way to the train station but instead I walked it (of course). Walking to the train station is a very straightforward affair with nothing typically new to discover. Typically.
Something Happened Along the Way
There is a book store (yet another bookstore – perhaps there is a pattern emerging here) called The Tattered Cover very close to the train station. I have mentioned this store before as it is one of my favorite, local independent book sellers. I always like to go in just to browse and if nothing else just inhale the rich aroma of all those printed pages sitting on a shelf begging to be read.
This is where I will end for now. There is so much to say beyond this point and I need enough time and space to devote to it. So, my friends, to be continued.
Thank you kindly for reading. I really do appreciate it. I also thank you for your patience and hopefully willingness to read the rest of this story. Just as I mention in the ‘About’ page, “while there may be a feeling of ambiguity at first, I am hoping you will discover my true purpose.”
Wherever you are in the world, I wish you a blessed day filled with happiness and kindness. Until next time . . . .
- Love Knows No Color
- Eternal Christmas Gifts Part II Kindness