I had an hour or so to kill before a medical appointment this week. I know, I know, it’s an odd way to begin, but give me a minute and it will make sense, hopefully. Also, no major medical issues or anything, thankfully, Just a standard, routine checkup with a nutritionist. So, yeah, had some time to waste before adult responsibilities. As well, I was given a gift card to one of my favorites stores ever which just so happened to be in the area of my medical appointment. Yup, you can probably guess how I spent my free time.
There are not really any independent bookstores where I live. There really are not any independent stores of any entertainment kind to be quite honest, but that makes sense for the area. Thus, I have always gravitated and enjoyed the big box bookstores. And once Borders and Waldenbooks went out of business, all that was left is the lone survivor of Barnes and Noble. I have loved Barnes and Noble since first stepping into a store in my high school days. Genuinely, I was used to small public libraries and bookstores that took up about the same amount of space as an Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop in the mall, so seeing and walking around a giant bookstore with a much larger selection than I had ever seen was a significant moment for a nerdy bibliophile. Still is to be perfectly honest.
Obviously, I have not been in a Barnes and Noble for some time. (Reason being: *waves arms around at everything*), and I probably would not have, even this time, had there been more than the 10 people in the entire store present. That includes the staff. Frankly, it was a little eerie being in such an empty location when normally there are several people walking the aisles, examining the shelves, drinking at the café. Still, a bookstore is, and will almost always be, a sanctuary for me. Perhaps, even more so during this time.
Books have always been a balm for me. Educational, entertaining, uplifting: the words on page after page were, at times, everything. Whether it was learning about a person or event that I had previously never heard of, reading random tidbits and factoids about a plethora of subjects, or immersing myself in myths and mysteries and stories, literature has always held significance to and for me. It was inevitable that the place where I would find solace, solitude, and sanctuary would be wherever I was surrounded by words and stories.
Your sanctuary or, for lack of a better term, “happy place” may not be among the stacks. It may not even be a place. Maybe your solace is in a person, Or a long time pet. Perchance, it is found in an object with fond memories. Or it could even be getting lost in an activity or action. We all need our little oasis or two while on this, or any, path. So, whatever your sanctuary may be, I hope you have access to it, or them, and that it brings you the needed comfort, respite, and fortification to keep going and growing to…