Just before I left SLO for Ventura county last October, I was talking to a friend about the reasons why I wanted to relocate. More opportunities, more chances to visit family, more chances to go shopping. I described how Mom and I would go shopping on Sundays and that's where we got most of our talking done. Even now, I love walking through Ross or Target, yakking to Mom on the phone while I look shop.
My friend said that she liked Mom and Pop stores. I have certainly made my stand for the small retail owner. At the time I was an either-or, black-or-white thinker and arrogantly stated that independent stores were good and big corporate stores, bad. I'm happy to say that when it comes to Big Box stores, my attitude has changed.
One reason is the familiarity of the store. When I arrive in a new town to house sit, I already have to adjust to a new environment, neighborhood, and the sounds at night as I fall asleep. Here in Hanford for 3 weeks, I needed groceries. The yellow pages did not yield any familiar markets. Luckily, I remembered that I once bought my favorite brand of soy milk at Target, which was only a few minutes away. Browsing and selecting broccoli, coconut Popsicles and earl grey tea made me feel happy and satisfied.
Another reason routine or the familiar works is when needing to get our daily work done. While our brains do need new adventures to create new pathways for learning, the familiar does have its place. When I was visiting a friend in Grass Valley, she walked me down a path by the river to go to the Briar Patch, a health oriented grocery store. The next day, I took the same walk. And I went once more while I was in town. For working, Starbucks is always available, but I actually prefer the quiet and familiarity of a local library.
When I move to a new space, the first things I do is set up my nightstand or depending on the length of stay, my altar space. My nightstand is basically a couple books, my Goddess card deck, my small bag containing eye mask, earplugs, tissue, Chapstick and a matchbox of worry dolls with a painted, glittery image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the front. My altar is a bundle of sage, lighter, incense,a vial of water and collaged affirmation cards.
The ritual and routine of setting up my temporary space is grounding and affirming. It anchors my heart to my new location and allows me to enjoy my favorite part of my journey: walking through my temporary town.
What anchors you're heart to your current town?