Posts Tagged ‘arts’

I dreamed a dream…

… and in this dream  I found myself in a somewhat artsy semi-urban area of a nameless town.  It wasn’t exactly a big city, but neither was it a small town.  The street and its shops and business were bustling with life.   Not crowded or busy like New York or Chicago or LA, but vibrant and alive with fairly steady traffic and spots of people here and there.

Across the street was a business.  It was a tearoom.  Outside it seemed quaint, inviting.  Inside it was spacious and relaxing.  The walls were stone or brick with wood beams showing.  This building had lived another life at one time.  Tables for two, three or four lined the outside rim of the space and some dotted the center space.  It wasn’t quite Victorian.  It wasn’t quite urban.  It was an eclectic mix of the two.  Tables had different lengths of table cloths in different materials and some went without completely.  Tea sets and service items were mis-matched and ranged from modern white with metal handles to exquisite china.  Teas and tea wares for sale dotted shelves and racks along with unique hand-made goods from across the world.

The tea shop was open Tuesday through Saturday, serving breakfast, lunch and tea.  The foods served were sometimes unique, always made with the best whole grain and fresh ingredients, low in sugar and yet delicious.  Nothing was advertised as “healthy” or “low carb” or anything like that, it was the quality that drew return customers and those who knew appreciated it.  Those with special dietary needs who wanted to come for tea always knew they would be cared for… but no big fuss was made… that’s just how the place worked.

The place featured the work of local artists – with photos, paintings and prints on the walls (and sometimes for sale) and even sculpture pieces made their way into the shop from time to time.  Special tea events were often accompanied with live music by local musicians and every now and again an artist would hold a small concert or showing and tea reception there.

So in addition to regular hours and menus there were sometimes special events.  Some tea related such as Mother’s Day teas and Daddy-date teas and mystery teas.  But as often as not they had nothing to do with tea.  Such as evenings for artist showings, live music and even an occasional poetry reading.  A few times they even maneuvered enough space for some physical theatre and drama.  There were two different small groups that used the shop on different evenings to hold their artists’ group Bible study meetings.  I even noticed a sign that would be put out on Sunday mornings that said, “Closed for business, open for worship.”  I did not inquire about this.

There was a young woman in the shop.  She was either an owner or a manager, but based on the sparkle in her eyes you could tell that the overall vision for this place had been hers.  She was in her mid to late thirties, or maybe her mid-forties, it was difficult to tell.  In some ways she stayed as a background character in her own shop, there were others, more outgoing others, who did much of the serving and conversing.  But she loved to serve as well and make sure that folks were being treated well and she would even seek out people from time to time and strike up interesting conversations… or was it that they sought her?  Perhaps they had picked up something from her in a previous conversation and so came to her when they had various questions…

There were others there, of course.  Others who served.  Perhaps even a co-owner or close associate who shared in the dream and the business.  Couldn’t quite make out whether that person was male or female or the exact relationship between the two.  But this friend, this partner, was a good counter-balance to the young woman. Similar vision and goals for the shop, yet they rounded out each other’s skill set well.

It wasn’t a Fortune 500 company by any means.  Nor wildly successful as some would define it.  They had their struggles, and getting to this point was something they had sometimes wondered about, but overall things were well.  Most importantly, people were served well and the community was invested in.  The shop had become an important part of the fabric of that community.

Close to the shop was an empty lot.  Or at least it used to be an empty lot.  If a building had been there at one time, it had been abandoned or run down or condemned and torn down… and the lot had sat as an eyesore.  Whether it was purchased when the shop was or at a later time, it was now owned by the same hands.  And now the once trashed ground held a vibrant community garden.  The community participated and the community benefited.  In fact, the tea shop itself featured a portion of its fresh bounty.  Though the idea for the garden had been a part of the vision of the young woman, it was the greener thumb of the other which brought it to fruition.  And it truly blossomed.

And then I awoke.

And it was a good dream.

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