Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Kitchen Shop

Imagine that. Every morning at sun up, the woman, Liza, and her son, Luca, who own The Kitchen Shop, put out their wares. I watched them do it. What luck it was that I was walking past at just the right moment. Maybe it wasn’t luck. Maybe something drew me there.

Either way, these two of Tuscany didn’t seem to mind or even seem to notice this tall American blonde who pulled up some grass in front of the court house—I think it was a court house—across the road. They carried out each copper pot and hung it in its place, stopping to shine those they felt that needed it. A touch of care that was. That was a touch of love they added to a work of art they made each morning as the colors of the Tuscan sky went from dark blue to violet to pink to blue again.

I was struck by how I saw no rush. No worries seemed to drive them. They had no need to finish before an appointed time. It was more like ballet than like a drill team. Mother and son were making something beautiful because it was theirs—their life, their work, their way of being. I can’t explain how it felt to watch them. It was the calm and open feeling I get when I’m inside an old European cathedral. If I could hold it in my hands, I would have named it pride of ownership . . . respect . . . and hope . . . the hope that comes from knowing that life isn’t meant to hurt you.

The boy, tall and lean, not more than seventeen, straight hair so black, it shined almost blue to match his eyes, worked with a smile. He helped his mother carry things. He held her arm as they walked together. I thought how many hearts that boy's smile steal. His mother’s blue eyes looked at him from under wisps of black hair that had fallen forward. She watched him work as if she knew exactly what I had been thinking, yet she smiled too. She moved me with her feelings for him. They seemed to make the copper pots shine in the rising sunlight.

This was no busy city. It wasn’t a tourist town. I wondered how this little store could survive here. Where would its customers come from? Yet as I got up off the grass to go into The Kitchen Shop, I knew the customers would come. Just as I had come this morning. I walked into the open door. It was as if a magnet pulled me.

“Prego.”

Welcome. Come in. You belong here. Glad to see you. Aren’t you joyful that we’re living?

Sheer belief in the goodness of life is a powerful thing.
—me strauss Letting me be

10 comments:

Bluesky_Liz said...

Sounds like a place i would like to be. I'm so sick of the city sometimes... people never smile, people rude, the air is dusty... and many complaints of course. ;)

Blue Turtle said...

Nice photos - oddly ... the kitchen store reminds me of some places in Turkey

mergrl said...

beautiful my friend (hugs) love our new vacation destination

have a great day!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Liz,
I know what you mean. It's not the same here anywhere--not even in the very small towns. There is an art to some cultures that you don't find in others.

I'm glad to see you, Liz

ME Strauss said...

Hi blue turtle!
Welcome, I know next to nothing about Turkey, except that everyone I know who has been there wants to return.

Thank you for coming by to see me.

ME Strauss said...

Hello mergrl,

Yeah, come walk around with me today. I need some company. I'm feeling lonely.

Doug said...

You mean life can be lived slowly? Huh. The must have only one blog.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Doug,

I think they've moved on and become a living videocast. giggle.

Ambrose's Blog looks fabulous, but I'm having trouble getting the podcast to work on my PC. Still trying though.

Marti said...

Ah indeed.

Lovely photos, lovely prose.

Thank you for sharing.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Marti,
Thank you.
It sure is good to have you as part of this vacation. Italy is a nice place to share with you.