* a garden shop in downtown Excelsior - note the sweet little piggy hanging, love.
Just the other day I took some time to meander the streets of downtown Excelsior and find some beauty.  It was waiting for me there.  A quaint street lined with too expensive shops and antique stores.  Similar to the likings of downtown Franklin but then again nothing like it.  It did however fill an ache in my heart for home.  I walked up and down the main street and sat and took in the stillness of the lake. The trees lining the perimeter of the shore have all taken their fall color.  Spectacular hues of maroon, gold and orange reflected on the water.  Just majestic. 

And I take it all in.  Just breathe and offer thanks.  I am here and there is purpose and this is beauty surrounding.  In all the little ways I choose to find it.  It is a waiting gift. 
I continue to walk around.  Clutching my camera.  Waiting for inspiration to jump out, grab hold.  I walk in and out of stores.  Browsing.  Touching the fabrics, not really looking for anything.  Smiling and thanking.  Then I see this.  Iron and red and standing tall.  The contrast strikes me and I snap away. The shadows against the paint, the space between, the twists and vines.  Such detail. 
Still I walk on.  Looking for more.  I people watch.  A past time I so enjoy.  Watching people engage in conversations, their expressions, body language, all with depth and stories untold.  I wonder about them.  More thankfulness rushes in.  Then I see this.
A painted wall on the side of a business standing next to a garden.  Just enough to make someone stop and smile.  There is more ground to cover, so to speak and so I walk on, cross the street.  Debate on stopping at the bakery and then I don't.  I press my nose to the glass of a Scandinavian store and smile politely at the woman on the bench watching.  At the end of the street there is a theatre.  Old.  Only showing a few films.  It intrigues me.  Makes me think about the stories it holds and the popcorn and the history, maybe busier in the summer months when the weather is warm and there are boats docked nearby and people scattered everywhere. 
My time is nearing an end.  There are errands to run and reality to face.  Yet for this brief visit I found beauty.  Little gratitude clips all around.  Loveliness that was waiting to be found. 

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