Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not on My To-Do List...

I was on some kind of mission. Memory fails me, but I was in my big, red pick-up truck, headed off to do a task when the Universe imposed a detour, a literal detour. As you in “you can’t get there from here”.

I took this in stride and was still right on schedule when a sign captured my attention: Yard Sale”. In my personal book of laws, passing a yard sale without stopping has a stiff penalty. So I pulled over and joined the people pawing through boxes of treasures.

In Santa Fe, yard sales are exceptionally delightful. The city draws people who appreciate art and culture and who often have the means to support a very comfortable lifestyle. These people arrive, unpack and soon have a yard sale as they remodel their homes to reflect the Santa Fe style. Then a couple years later they pack up to move elsewhere and again have a yard sale of delights and unique items.

Not only are the yard sales a great place to find excellent additions to the household or the wardrobe, you also meet amazing people who have lead full, rich lives and they frequently are willing to talk about them. It is refreshing how open and willing to talk the strangers who populate Santa Fe really are. Is it harmonic rhythms or what? Who knows? Who cares? Just enjoy the stories and the gifts that unfold.

At this particular, unplanned yard sale stop, my sweet husband was drawn to a yet untapped box and what did he find? A primitive wooden painting of St James, the Moorslayer! (One of his alter-egos, perhaps not the favorite of gentle pilgrims, yet the very St James whose relics are found at the end of El Camino under the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. See the photo.)

After negotiating an excellent price for this icon, I exchanged business cards with another woman who heard me mention my upcoming pilgrimage to Santiago. And before I knew it, my network of veteran pilgrims expanded by one. I could hardly keep up with the woman as she enthusiastically spilled out advice and anecdotes.

I stood, happily listening and learning and totally forgot about the errand that had brought me out that day. Warm conversation, good advice, time to soak it all in...what could be more improtant?

Thus is the subtle magic of the universe. We are often right where we should be, if we have sense enough to pay attention.

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