Saturday morning I went to the Holiday Boutique, a very special event in Monte Vista with beautiful handmade things produced by talented people like my friend Elizabeth. The women who organize this lovely event decided in 2020 not to hold it because of Covid, no vaccinations, etc.
As I was walking toward the door, the woman waiting for people, gathering the invitations and crossing attendees off the list said, “You’re ALMOST in the sun.” I was on the sidewalk and the sun was about to hit it. It was a sweet, friendly, gentle joke because here the temperature difference between sun and shade can be several degrees and in winter? Even people like me who love the cold and snow, seek the sun. I laughed.
When I looked inside at all the beautiful things, so lovingly made and saved back from last year, some of them, here thoughtfully, attractively, carefully displayed, and I looked at my friend and the wonderful women who are responsible for this, I thought I was going to cry. My friend Elizabeth came out to greet me and she and the woman were prepared to hug me if I really did break down. I held it together. 🙂 I guess a lot of us just got through last year by putting a good face on things and acting as if the small things that add beauty to our lives weren’t all that important and now that they slowly return, we feel it intensely.
Everything in the Boutique is handmade. To be a participant you have to be chosen by the family that organized it long ago. You will find everything for the kitchen — save appliances and pots and pans. Hand embroidered, muslin dish towels like those I grew up with. Homemade jams and jellies, dish scrubbers that people in the San Luis Valley use and buy every year at this Boutique. Jackets, tote-bags, bags for groceries, water-bottle holders, Christmas ornaments, stuffed animals (Elizabeth makes wonderful bears, cats and more),on and on… I would need photos to show you everything and I didn’t take any. My friend is an extremely talented seamstress as well as beyond “handy” with knitting needles and a crochet hook. My “target” was a pair of socks Elizabeth had made with leftover scraps. I bought some Christmas presents and some peach butter. I hope that this wonderful thing continues into perpetuity.
When I got home, I put away my treasures and looked at Bear. The imperatives were absolutely clear. We headed out to the Refuge to enjoy the morning and I was rewarded by hundreds of Sandhill cranes calling, purring, flying overhead. That is the first time this fall I have experienced that — no idea why because I’ve been out a lot, but it’s the crane’s business, not mine. My business is simply to show up. Their business is to get south before the winter cold closes the waterways. If my business coincides with theirs? The best it can get.
When I got home from all my field trips I thought more about the woman’s sweet joke, “That’s a beautiful metaphor for this whole morning, boutique, friends, cranes, sunshine, sky, all of it.”
Maybe we ARE “almost in the sun.”
P.S. Strangely, this song was going through my mind as I wrote this and just now, on “Breakfast with the Beatles,” (WXRT Chicago) the DJ is playing it. So there you go.