Sauntering. My perusing skills only unfurl themselves fully when traveling, or browsing through famer’s markets. A slowness envelopes me, as time dissipates and agendas humidify, I step into an awareness of that which pleases me.
This past weekend, I ramble happened to walk into a independent bookstore seller while on a day trip to some Oregon beachside towns. Imagine it…the romance of the pacific northwest coastline…ah….and then the reality is…the local mirrors the atmosphere of all the other beachside towns you’ve ever encountered. Only this one is new to you…you get to rediscover it.
And I figured out through browsing. That the destination today paled as murky as the cloudy overhead, and the experience of meeting people, mingled with exploring on my own….whipped together a recipe for “boy, I am digging life right now.”
I signed up for a group trip that provided transportation to the beach towns. Coccooned in the back of the 10 person van, my seat sharers and I buckled in at 6:30 on a Saturday expecting a 2 hour drive….unexpected detours 5 hours later, we emerged philosophically satiated…discussing politics, leadership theory, resilience and value development.
And then, I panted for solo exploration. I embarked my own pace, set my the pulsations of my irregular curiosity of my own pace. I spent 53 seconds in a leather clothing store where a lady chirped “all natural leather, everything TWENTY dollars” three times before hightailing it out of there. My mood stretched high to the heavens meeting a crew at an organic coffee shop resemebling a comedic chorus in a Greek play….giggling about Tai Chi Karoke and different acidity…I snapped a memory, and they returned the favor as I slipped for a brief moment into the ecstasy of rich espresso, the first lick of caffeine after 5 hours taco-ed in a tour bus….heaven!
After reading the backs of 20 books in an independent bookstore, the owner and I collectively welled water filled eyes as we paid homage to our blessings…the gratitude of being female…a lover of words, capable and free to satiate our hungers…for travel, for words, for connection…any time we pleased…as so many women remain locked in oppression, barred from books, even. (Plus, purchasing a book recommended with such passion from the owner herself…the reading is forever woven with the image of sharing a spiritual sisterhood…my geek version of the blood tipped finger smearing ritual of 8 year olds)
And at the end of the day, balance crested…between the expense of strangers and seatmates that I shared myself with and the shalom of my independent mosey-ing. In both places…authentically allowing the promenade to lead…
Sauntering solo, yet engaged and tuned into others.