The Little Table

The Little Table

The first piece I ‘picked’ was as a college student in Boone, NC.

The details are fuzzy some 30 years later, but it was in a quonset hut close to the sidewalk. Otherwise, I would never have ventured in.

It was a small chippy white metal table, and I LOVED it. I paid $20, and it lived inside every house or apartment until my little one was born some 25 years later. As a new mommy I was SO nervous about sharp things and hard things and ‘could be lead paint’ things, so the little white table lived on the porch and soon became the ‘little rusty table’.

I loved it still.

Eventually it moved with me from studio to studio becoming the guardian to hold whatever cumbersome thing that was keeping me from unlocking the door. Until one day, one of my long time shoppers who had nothing but love and support for “The Painted Mermaid” spotted it and asked if it were for sale.

I hadn’t known this man well over the years. I knew him and his wife as kind and special ‘regulars’ and had certainly known of her decline. But we had just spent the last few days together bringing the fabulous pieces they had curated together — many which I recognized, one of which was the first piece I had ever painted — back to what I had begun to realize was their ‘Mermaid’ as much as it was mine.

He told stories of each piece. Where they’d found it. How she’d felt about it. How he felt about it. And I remember saying the table was not for sale, but that it needed to be with him. He promised he would seal it (for safety) and love it, and never sell it. He kept his promise. And just a few short weeks later, when this man I had grown to love unexpectedly joined his beautiful wife, the little table came back to me.

I think of him often, and as I do today I recognize once again the importance of letting go. Making more room for the important things. And knowing that if it’s meant to circle back to you, it will.

Good morning Sunshine, I’ll see you when you get here.

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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