What do I say to this kind gentleman who wants to help me find something? I didn’t come in here to look around. I came in to hide from the storm! Wonder if he might have a towel?
“No thank you, sir. I just want to look around a little.” At least until this storm is past. How long can this thunderstorm last anyway? Her grumpy response to the interruption of her day was annoying her. “Don’t be grumpy” she told herself. “Look around. Maybe you were meant to come in here.” Who uses this stuff, she wondered as her mood began to shift a little. My family has been throwing things like this away for years. Who knew there was a market?
She had never been in an antique store before. It was a little intriguing. She liked the chestnut table. The old hats had too much of a musky oder. She could’t wear them. But hats are coming back. She decided to try one on just for fun. She giggled as she looked at herself in an old mirror.
She continued to browse with her interest increasing. Something about the old photos drew her. The shopkeeper had an entire section of old photos, some in boxes, with a few in old frames. Hanging in the back corner was an old painting of three children. Three sisters by a piano. She was immobilized as she stared at that painting. She knew those children. How could she? That painting looked like it was created in the 1800’s. She had to have that painting. She asked the shop keeper if he could get it down for her. As he did, her eyes filled with tears. How could she be so affected by this painting?
She sat at the back of the shop where the owner served coffee and biscuits. She could not stop looking at the painting of the three children. They were her children. Sarah, Esther, and Mary. Little Mary. She died shortly after that painting. As she sipped her coffee, her memories wove around the life that was hidden within her. She was so grateful that the storm had come and chased her into this store. Otherwise, she would never have entered it. She would never have found this part of her past. This delightful life with her beautiful girls. She had simply sought refuge from the storm, and found a treasure.
“The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” Cesare Pavese