Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Window Shopping

Do people window shop anymore? The term brings my gramma to mind. She would often head to the mall, lunch at Hudsons, browse the furniture, the home goods and the jewelry counters. But she really didn't shop-shop. I don't remember her unloading bags from department stores filled with goodies and bargains. Maybe an occasional sterling silver bracelet found on clearance. Never huge bags strewn around the living room.
In recent years I have rediscovered window shopping. Sometimes it's for inspiration, sometimes hunting for something specific and usually just a pleasant way to pass the day. It can be a lovely distraction from life be it life's monotony or anxiety. On most weekends the Mr. and I will go to Home Depot or Lowe's to browse whatever items are currently of interest. Now it's outdoor type stuff. I wander around the garden center fingering flower petals and running my hands down the slender trunks of saplings. I go 'round and 'round the seed packets reading their backs, envisioning where I might plant this herb or that flower. The Mr. usually heads straight for lawn furniture and sits in every chair trying to solve the magic formula of price + comfort = ? This window shopping might end in a small purchase like a flat of petunias or a hanging basket. This past weekend it was a bag of wildflower seeds.
It's no surprise to find out that the way my grandparents did things continues to be a good way to live. I've been absolutely sure of some idea and spent a few weeks window shopping only to discover that it isn't the idea I want at all. Fruit trees here! No, not there. What was I thinking? Raised garden beds there! Not there, here! I never thought of it before but this is where it needs to go.
Then again window shopping is a perfect diversion to just daydream. Do we know how to daydream any more? I think it might be a dying art. Try wandering through the clothing department and just enjoy the design, the fabric, the idea of it. And walk away. Bring the daydream back when you've a few moments to close your eyes waiting for the doctor or while dinner is cooking or on a Saturday morning off. It isn't for wishing and hoping for a purchase. It's celebrating within yourself the creativity of the Creator expressed through his creation. Beautiful dresses reflecting God? Yes. Doesn't everything good reflect God?
With the death of daydreams and window shopping has come the birth of discontent and frustration. We are losing the ability to look at, appreciate and move on. I spent hours in childhood driving through streets lined with mansions just for the experience of drinking in the beauty. We walked through grand new model homes. We made regular tours through the Henry Ford mansion, Fairlane. We sat in the chairs in the fine furniture department of Hudsons. My grandmother didn't teach me that these were things I must own, they were things I must appreciate.
When will we rediscover the simple truth that we, in fact, own nothing? For a while I will enjoy coffee on sunny mornings in a beautiful back yard that I call my own. There is nothing that is really my own. I am a temporary occupant of this house I love. God says only to us that we can enjoy all that he has put before us. He is the master artist who invites us to enjoy his painting and we have become petulant children stomping our feet because we want to live inside of it. Window shopping, I am finding, is like being invited to a beautiful dinner. Have you had the pleasure of someone making you a fine meal, setting a table and including touches like your favorite dessert or coffee just the way you like it best? This is life. I am a guest passing through and when I daily find things of beauty and joy I am learning to store it in my heart.
Window shopping might just be a way to daydream of heaven.

Revelations 4: 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created...


Louise said...

Once again you've spoken to us my precious friend. Thank you for the insight you give us and for making us stop and do some inner-window shopping.

Margie said...


Phyllis and I were daydreaming about where we would go if we could fly anywhere in the world... here... no here... it's too cold there... but it's too hot there... it was funny. we were going to go to Greece. Just the two of us on an adventure.

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KayMac said...

good post, lots to ponder.

Jada's Gigi said...

Lovely wanderings...I've never been much of a window shopper but like you say...as I grow a bit older I am finding some pleasure in it. Of course it also coincides with having a bit of time on my hands now that kids are older etc. i am liking that fact that this "tim" is lending itself to finding out about new things...things you can only see when you are wandering...or perhaps window shopping

Amrita said...

Lovely post Sara and the photo with your Mom too.
Window shopping replaces real shopping for me at times. LOL

Constance said...

Great post! It took me back to my childhood. My mom was a single mom in the 1960's and there was not extra money for frivolous things and we window shopped a lot! I still remember going downtown (St Louis) and standing around outside the Famous-Barr Department store with its 8 floors inside.

Christmas was the best with the animated scenes in the big picture windows! The 7th floor was the toy floor and they had a monorail that went around the ceiling and when you rode on it, you could look down on all of the toys! When you're a kid, that and all the ice cream you can eat is little piece of heaven! It's funny, but when my Mom and I did stuff like that I sure didn't feel "poor"!

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