Monday, January 21, 2013

Lost In Time

I have a clandestine passion. A secret garden where my heart finds solace from life’s turmoil. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent hiding from life’s stresses, lost deep inside the meandering maze that attracts me and distracts me like a well loved novel.  I’d passed it often on those days when duty called and I submissively answered.  It drew my attention, beguiling me to investigate, but curiosity never won the argument. I looked away and focused on my obligations. Until one afternoon.

Impulsively I veered into its parking lot, shut off the engine and stole some time from a demanding schedule. I walked up to the open doors, stepped back in time and began to breathe again.  Ten years ago I discovered this oasis in the city, months after it opened.  For ten years I have treated it like my own personal retreat, invited good friends to join me, and lost my cares while nourishing my soul in a building that once housed stacks of lumber.
I fell in love with an antique marketplace.
I scrolled through facebook tonight and suddenly a photo of a shabby chic clawfoot table with a child’s red rocker on top and a footstool and embellished pillow beneath pulled me in. It’s almost an addiction. Suddenly I need to pick up a peppermint mocha, walk through the doors of the façade of main street shops and disappear into the depths of Chandler’s Merchant Square Antique Marketplace again.  Just like Shoeless Joe beckoned from the cornfield in Field Of Dreams, its invitation to lose myself in time is too delightful to ignore.
Hours spent sipping an iced mocha and perusing the huge store is my guilty pleasure.  I don’t even have to buy anything—though I usually find something there that I didn’t know I needed. As I wander past stalls of primitive crafts, French artwork, libraries of old books, shabby chic furniture and mid-century kitchenware that matches the wedding gifts in my own cupboards, an amazing thing begins to happen.  My blood pressure drops. My face relaxes. I let go of anxiety.
And by the time I finally circle back to the front door and head for the parking lot, this tour of repurposed cast-offs has renewed my love of beauty and home.  All the lovelies that parade there in hopes of leaving with me remind me that no matter how hard life gets, home is where my heart is. Home can be a beautiful, comforting place. And I celebrate endeavors like the Marketplace which inspire me to make my home as soothing to wandering souls as wandering through aisles of antiques makes me feel.
It could be risky to tell you about this garden spot. Crowds might . . . crowd. But as long as I can wander through with a peppermint mocha in hand, I don’t mind. There’s plenty of room for all of us there.
I learned that from Shoeless Joe.

The Merchant Square Antique Marketplace is located at 1509 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, Arizona.  This has not been a paid advertisement. It's simply been my pleasure - my guilty pleasure.

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