Amid travels, studio classes, and a series of varying engagements, I’m informed of an impending deadline before the first visitor of the day. I open the gallery early, and make preparations to receive guests. At least one morning each week, I clear my itinerary and welcome visitors to stop in, sit and talk a while over coffee. All summer I’ve enjoyed this new tradition. It has presented me with unique opportunities to become better acquainted with neighbors, teachers, farmers, makers and like-minded leaders.
I arrange an assortment of pastries collected from the market this morning, I retrieve the boiling kettle, grind the coffee and pour. As the steam rises in the early light, the door opens, and I’m caught up in a conversation that will last for at least an hour. For a while, I forget about the deadline. I’m immersed in fruitful discussion with a person I’ve unknowingly crossed paths with for years. I’m astonished to learn more about her work, and life and the kindred threads of appreciation we share. I find it remarkable, this discovery of a neighbor I haven’t known until now.
The power of human interaction knows no bounds. Yet in this modern age, we seldom stop to take the time to chat across the fence-line, or catch up over iced tea on our front porches. I ponder the thought. Perhaps this is what society needs: an open door and a cup that is always full.
Recent travels, studio classes and visits have presented opportunities to get to know others better. It seems a slower means of connection has extended reach and understanding. Making the time has somehow afforded me time restored. Time given and taken is an exchange that expands one’s own notions, capacity to learn, heal and grow. Deadlines have been met in due course. All the work in need of doing gets done, and I find pleasure in the leisure time shared, getting to know others.
The greatest gift we possess is time. It is the thing that we feel assured we have so little of, until we share it. Then it grows.
Art is life expressed – Sarah West, owner of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art