01 November 2007

lost among the people.

The timer is set. I have 24 minutes to write until my bubbling batch of Sara Snow's family recipe mac-n-cheese with tomato is out of the oven.

I walked downtown this evening.

Just walked around and buried myself between the diversity of people who live and work and do "downtown" things. Punk kids on bikes racing by. Young executives heading into their urban lofts with the turn of a key. Up the elevator. People waiting for the city bus. Crowds of every type of human mingled together in all shapes and colors, crossing the street when the red hand fades and the walking-man lights up. I wandered among them.

I was very much in need of what feels like a confessional word: a little taste of freedom. For ninety short minutes, I just needed to get lost in a sea of strangers and walk around the city without a care.

Truly, I can hardly imagine it possible to love my little Eli Henry more than I do. But I think... well, I have found, that in order to be a good mother to him, I need to find time to let myself refuel. Just get out and have moments where clock-watching stops, where I know that his daddy is home with him reading a story-book and playing with farm toys and I am not pressed on all sides. Not needed for the moment. I am free to roam, to have a small adventure all to myself before the sun sets.

I began my journey at our wonderful three-story library where I picked up a collection of Little Golden Book stories tucked into one volume for reading to Eli at bedtime. I also grabbed two cookbooks to inspire new dinners: The Foster's Market Cookbook and Tyler Florence's Tyler's Ultimate.

After the library I found a parking space near Printers Alley and ducked inside a downtown location of one of my favorite little shops: Fire Finch. Nothing bought, but always something fun to look at...good-smelling candles, funky jewelry, an assortment of hats, and colorful sets of paper coasters with birds & trees.

Up a block as evening descended, I walked. Peeked inside the fancy little Urban Market grocery that caters to loft-dwellers. Pulled a muffin from behind the self-serve plastic case. Put it back. Bought some cheese (for tonight's dinner) instead, and a bottle of sparkling apple juice.

Then back among the people. It was nearing six o'clock so foot-traffic was picking up. People heading home to their families. I studied the alley-way of old print shops from a distance. Now it's dance-halls and blues clubs and a feeling that it's too scary to walk alone, so I didn't. Instead, I spotted something else. Like a beacon in the almost-night, four green letters [O-P-E-N] on a storefront I had never seen before: a new coffee shop at 4th & Church Street.

It was cozy inside. Leather chairs and moody lighting and an old upright piano. Bins of freshly-roasted beans. I bought a half-pound to take home to the coffee-loving man who lives in my house.

Today was a good mail day too. The manila envelope arrived from Jenni. Toast - House & Home catalog, and a yummy orange blossom lip balm that smells of citrus & honey. Sadly, Jeremy says it smells like dead insects. There are occasions where we disagree, this being one. [which leads me to ponder...how exactly does he know what a dead insect smells like?]

Two minutes left till the buzzer so I'll publish this after dinner, along with some images that brought a good end to an even better day for getting lost.


Lauren said...

"I have found, that in order to be a good mother to him, I need to find time to let myself refuel."

yes, yes, yes. i think this is the key to remaining a sane, loving, attached mama.

oh, and fire finch.....LOVE IT. when i came through nashville a few months back i spent a bundle there. yikes.

jenni said...

Dead insects? I had to know what Johnny thought. He said, "It smells like someone spilled orange juice in honey."

*jj said...

i love reading your blog. you're such a talented writer!