When I need an escape, I find refuge in thrift store shopping, imagining the people as animals foraging with the same goal in mind: to find that unique item to return to their nest, a slice of magic that will calm their prowl. The customers flit around me some traveling in packs while others are lone wolves on the hunt. Some are injured trying to find a slice of solace that will feed their soul while others simply prance about laughing in the sunshine of a good bargain. The young mama bear searching to clothe her offspring who plays hide and seek beneath the hanging garments, grateful for the diversion and the innocence that her cub enjoys. But there’s no mistaking the primal protection in her darting eyes which signal the others that she has a history of being very aware of any predators in her midst.
The white haired, stooped older mammals, like wise owls, gather around the books and lose themselves in the warm bask of a good story. Other animals remind me of what happens when left in the wild too long. The ripple effect of bad decisions, sometimes forced bad decisions, play across their face, crawl up their spines and lay heavy on their stooped shoulders; their empty eyes lost in a forest of numbing apathy and useless regret. There are others still, rejuvenated, primping, strutting as they enhance their plumage barking, chattering, cooing while others plod through this forest, worn and tired, simply trying, practically and matter-of-factly, to gather the necessities for the cold winter ahead.
I relish in the anonymity that my “nature” place provides. I go unnoticed among the herd as I pick through the sticks that line my own nest and draw comfort in being surrounded by others who unknowingly carry inside them a tiny piece that looks a lot like me