Sometimes prayers are answered. And I realize I have to listen to my intuition and trust it even more than I already do. I walked into the local deli where I hang and sell artwork I make out of seashells and sea glass as a daily effort to keep calm and not embrace my DNA and the periodic urge to run screaming to a depression rehab. It actually works. When I allow my imagination out to play, I’m not prisoner of my thoughts and my mental health is stable, which is why I’ve turned it into a business called Groovy Beach House. It creates a sense of accountability around what would otherwise just be a hobby that I may not make a priority. I don’t want to turn into someone who doesn’t make time for the things I truly love doing because I’m working to pay bills, though it’s such a common tragedy.
Anyway, so I walked into the deli hoping I wouldn’t see my single-panel painted sign that says, “Believe” collaged with pieces of sea shells I collected on a local beach. If it wasn’t on the wall, it could only mean that it was sold. Sure enough, it wasn’t there, and every cell of my body smiled with the sense of validation coursing through my veins.
“Hey, Warren,” I said to the owner of the place. “I see my sign sold.”
He stared at me blankly. “I thought you took it. I was wondering why you didn’t replace it. I figured you were just busy.”
“You mean it didn’t sell?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Someone stole my ‘Believe’ sign? Who would do that?”
“I’m so sorry,” Warren said, “I really thought you took it back because you sold it.”
I was holding another smaller sign that said, “Café,” which I had intended to hang on the now empty nail on the wall. “I don’t feel good about hanging this one. I like it too much to have it disappear too.”
I had to choke back tears as I walked out of the place into the drizzly day wondering why this would happen. I hate wallowing, so I decided to think of it as a complement. Someone who couldn’t afford to pay the $20 for it wanted the sign so much that stealing it was the only way. The idea that someone would choose to risk being deemed a thief in order to have my artwork is a big peacock feather in my cap.
But something about that didn’t resonate either. I tried to imagine someone taking it off the wall and walking out the door without being noticed. No way. And of all the signs to lose. Believe. Hmph!
Over the next couple of days I thought about it. I even went to an interior design shop across the street to sell some of my work and the owner mentioned seeing the sign I had made for Freshicas Juice Bar, which is also located at the deli. I told her about the stolen sign and she couldn’t believe it either.
I’m not one to post on Facebook every time I sneeze twice in a row, but I couldn’t hold this story back. I had to vent. My post received a few consolations, but one comment came from a doctor/acupuncturist friend from Indiana who wrote, “There are no accidents, chica! The universe has bigger plans here. Every ‘loss’ is actually an opening, an expansion.”
It was as if my conscience was talking to me because I know this and agree with it, which is likely why I couldn’t believe it was stolen in the first place. Yup, there’s that word again. It’s everywhere. I believe... I don’t believe... Can you believe?... It would never go unnoticed again!
The next day, my friend who owns the Indy Healing Center in Indiana and practices Chinese medicine, asked me to make her a sign proclaiming that everything happens for a reason. We were instant messaging back and forth the following day about the project. During the conversation I got a call from the deli. As soon as I saw the name on my phone’s screen, I knew what was coming. It was Warren saying that he was all ready to sit down with the surveillance tapes for the past two months, but resolved the mystery before that.
I was tickled and posted accordingly. I wrote: “I KNEW my sign wasn't stolen. The owner called to let me know that someone who works a couple days a week had sold it. My faith is restored because my post actually led to another project for which I am infinitely grateful.”
What now? I have to make another “Believe” sign, and another that says, “There are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason.” I should probably make another one that says, “Faith.”