Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Early Bird gets the Worm

Strange and interesting thing happened during my walk to the lake this morning.

We (those of us in Southern Ontario) are in the grip of an intense heat wave at the moment. We're into Day 3, I think, although the heat has made my mind lazy and it's a little foggy. Getting to and from the lake in this heat, even at 7:00 in the morning, is sketchy. But, once I'm there, I do enjoy the slightly cooler temps and the shade of the large trees. Standing at the lake each morning is 'my' time. It's the quiet, undisturbed part of my day when I can think of all I'm grateful for and seek direction for my day and my life.

This morning, as I looked out on the lake, I had a very clear vision for a new store; name; decor; product .... a complete vision; much like the one that came to me for The Linen Cupboard.

Now, in today's business atmosphere, beginning a new venture makes little sense. After all, even those that have been around for some time are having difficulty. Even so, throughout the walk back from the lake, my steps were lighter and my mind charging ahead with this idea. It's likely one of those dreams that don't make it to fruition, but I had fun with the thoughts.

It was during this walk back that the strange/interesting thing happened. I passed a beautiful, robust looking robin with a worm in it's mouth. Not unusual, I know, but don't forget we've had at least three days of parched lawns. This bird was no where near where a lawn may have had early morning sprinklers providing worms for the taking. I thought "way to go, you resourceful bird" and carried on my way. Interesting - but not strange. It was on the last leg of my walk that I thought "okay, that's strange." I passed another robin with a fat worm in it's mouth. Again, in a field, no where near sprinklers.

At this point, having the mind that I do, I began to wonder what the robins were telling me. Were they saying - take the chance; the reward will be there even though the atmosphere may seem unwelcome at the moment? Wouldn't life be easier if I could just tap into that insight that creatures seem to have?

The problem is there are no easy answers when we're looking at major decisions. All we can do is weigh the facts as we know them and make a, hopefully, educated choice. I'm reminded of the ethics course I took in university and how decision-making is often a right vs right option. By doing one right thing, I may be leaving other rights things undone.

This new store will likely never come to be but I thank the robins for generating some great reflections - helping me to see that we shouldn't always act based on the known wisdom of the day. After all, it's the risk takers who get the worm.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

Molly, our Airedale puppy, is the newest addition to the shop. She's a delightful pet; alternating between puppy rambunctiousness and frequent collapses on the floor for naps. Makes me wish I could just flop when I get pooped.

I knew Molly was a hit with customers but today confirmed it. A woman came into the shop for the sole purpose of seeing Molly. She had seen me sitting on the steps with her one day as she drove by and came back when she had time to see her.

Of course, she's a puppy, and every day is not perfect. Molly's fussy time is in the afternoon, round about the time that the shop is beginning to get busy. One day, as four women were coming in, I quickly put Molly into her crate to stay out of the way. I was glad I did since the women all seemed to need my attention very quickly.

Now, the shop generally has a soothing effect on women. The scents; colours; decor and quiet classical music create an atmosphere that women seek out. Picture the scene on this day; four women looking at different things in different areas of the shop; each with questions.

Challenging on its own but made even more so with the sound of Molly's short, sharp barks filling the air. As I tried to help each of the women, another woman entered and then another. Molly was making the most of the caffuffle, innately recognizing she had a role to play.

Soon the shop had more of a feeling of chaos than peace. At that moment, my parents arrived. They have begun to visit most afternoons to take Molly for a much needed walk through the park. I grabbed the leash without a word; handed it to my mother and thankfully watched them leave the shop.

Luckily, Molly and I haven't had another day like that one since but I now have my parent's number on speed dial just in case. Of course, as I write this, Molly has collapsed on the floor. They're beautiful when they're sleeping, aren't they?