I've just arrived home from a leisurely drive, calling in at some of my favourite haunts - antique shops, up in the hills.
Isn't it strange that no matter what trends or people's preferences, antique shops are always full of things and full of people looking and buying the things inside.
Things that are old, that are broken even, cracked, faded, and torn. They may be placed strategically on a table or piled higgedly piggedly in a corner, or maybe in a bright and shining clean glass cabinet. They are lovingly touched or held by a prospective buyer, or else longingly looked at, accompanied by many instances of a multitude of happy memories.
(Photo copyright rapidzone.net)
That got me thinking. Do we really admire and appreciate our antique people with as much passion?
I have a very dear friend Renee who is entering her "growing-older" years. She is what many people describe as "21st century woman caught in a 19th century time-warp". A pleasantly plump lady, Renee is always delightful company.
She dresses in old-fashioned clothing. She wears her hair up in an early 1900s style bun (very attractive). Her makeup is just a dab of matt powder over a light touching of moisturiser, and the softest touch of lipstick. She wears some of her mother's and aunt's favourite ear-rinrds and bangles - jingling and jangling with every body movement. Renee is a "big" lady in all respects.
I called around to see her on my way home and we sat together talking and laughing, about life and antiques.
Renee took down a very old dish that sits in pride of place on her buffet. She pointed out the faint crackling of age, the large crack that runs right through the centre, and the chip here and there and said now look at me!
So I took a long hard look. Renee has signs of faint crackling of age - wrinkles and creases all over her face and neck and hands. Age "dimples" down her arms, legs and tummy. Quite a number of cracks when she stands up or leans over to pick something up. Even a few chips here and there! Small brown patches on her arms and hands. Her eyes are quite as good as she'd like. And sometimes she doesn't hear a word or two. Her steps are not always as strong and purposeful, and sometimes it's better to leave something that's dropped to the floor, rather than try to pick it up - until later. She chortled and said, hate to think what would happen if I did topple over!
Renee gives new meaning to the word "antique". Rather, Renee is unique. Because in amongst all the cracks and creases, wrinkles and crackling, flabby and floppy flab, resides a beautiful, intelligent woman. Her mind, her spirit, her humour, her understanding, her compassion, her kindness, make you forget her "age". Renee has something about her that attracts other women to want to get to know her and to call her their friend.
You see it's more important to see Renee for her dignity, and her wisdom, and her peerless beauty, rather than a measurement of "years". (or size!)
May it be this way for all of us.