Things have been really great lately. I’ve developed some new interests and I now spend my time in different, very productive ways. Despite my excitement around these new ventures I stopped, momentarily, just this week and questioned my priorities.
You see, I love books and bookshops. Novels, big coffee table picture books, children’s books, books of poetry, books on yoga and cooking. History books, books on travel, even very old, musty smelling books. I love them all.
I love bookshops too. Did I mention that? I used to hunt out new bookshops and travel the city to visit an unexplored bookstore. Small independents, book exchanges, online sellers and even the big commercial bookstores. I love them all.
So, you’ve probably gathered I have a love of reading. But I also love the touch and feel of books. The quality of the paper, the thickness and the artwork on the cover all appeal to me. I’ll buy a book simply because it feels good. I absolutely adore the feel of a book with rough cut pages (deckled edges). Embossed and gold leaf covers also grab me.
So great is my love of books I’m rarely without one close at hand. I was travelling in France several years ago and I’d finished both of the books I’d packed. I went three weeks without a book to read and couldn’t find an English book anywhere. I couldn’t read the magazines or newspapers I saw on the newstands and in supermarkets as they were in French. I was starving for a book to read. There was a physical ache in my gut. My fingers were itchy. I was tormented. Then, just when I thought I would implode from the dire craving I had to read, I happened across a secondhand shop with a small cardboard box of English novels out front. I spent a good half hour pouring over each and every book; reading the front and back covers, scanning the inside; carefully selecting my treasure. I was sated, topped up and refuelled in those few moments with that box of books. I’d found heaven, hugging a book to my chest in pure delight.
Recently, I’ve begun to have similar feeling towards my garden. For the first time I have a garden and I’m experimenting with the planting and germination of herbs, vegetables and some pretty flowers. The joy that comes from seeing something you plant grow and then yield fruit and offer sustenance at your table or delight the senses is truly something. I long to be home to potter barefooted in my garden. It rejuvenates me and calms me. Whether I am planting, watering, weeding or digging garden beds I am at home and content in my garden.
When one has a love affair with gardening one also needs to buy supplies: soil, compost bins, bird netting, seedlings, hoses, stakes etc. This new passion of mine has led me to haunt a new type of store. The hardware store!
You’ll not find me in a bookshop as often as you will my local Bunnings hardware. I have found myself standing outside waiting for the doors to open on a Saturday morning. I am fascinated by the range of products on offer. I know my way around the aisles better than my husband, so familiar am I with the place.
And this is where I began to question myself and to (lightheartedly) evaluate my priorities. Maybe you can help me?
Is it blasphemous to love Bunnings more than books?
Here’s to enjoying new opportunities and indulging your passion, whatever it might be.