When I was a boy, age 14, I walked into my first New Age bookstore. A little, literal, back-alley shoppe of enchantment called "Sign of Aquarius Books". I was, for lack of a better word, "searching" for answers to something that had happened in my life when I was 7 that no normal or spiritual/religious explanation could possibly explain. So, here I was, 7 years later still seeking answers when I stepped through the old, bell-laden, victorian door and into the shop.
No bigger than a modern studio apartment, the place felt cozy and inviting to me as soon as I set foot inside. This was not the typical soon to be cliched "new age store" of the 90's with all the trappings and merchandise galore. . . no, this was the old school, throwback, specialty book store that once thrived in this world when uniqueness and niche selling was part of the brick and mortar world. There was one room off of the main room and I heard voices in there so I assumed it was an office/storage etc and proceeded to begin browsing the shelves.
I was fascinated by the books I saw on topics I had never even heard of. I might have been wandering for 5 minutes or so before I heard a voice say, "Helo dear, is there anything we can help you find?" I turned to face a short, stout, beaming silver haired woman in her 60's, her eyes so alive. . .. and her husband who was also short and stout and rosy cheeked. I smiled and shyly said, "Umm, no . . . I just was . . .. looking. . . " but that sentence did not end as a statement but as an unfulfilled expression. The couple both smiled and the woman said, "Well, if you have any questions, I will be right over here but take your time and enjoy"
Oh, I did. . . I think I may have spent hours that day sitting on the floor leafing thru books on everything from Taoism to Tarot to Guardian Angels and Fairies.
My mind was alive with the symbolism and possibilities within. . . and while I may not have found my answer then and there, I definitely walked into a place that allowed me to explore and dream. One of the few outside of my home world that did so and, as was often the case in my life, one that I would come to look back upon as a small but important event.
I feel, with a nod to my guardian Angel loving Grandmother, that I have been "watched over" since I was a child. . . though I have come to see it, thru my own passing of the years, as an unbroken connection to something inherent. Not an external force that helps and aides but an internal one that, if we remain true to it and do not get so caught up and lose ourselves in THIS so called reality around us, will serve us infallibly until the end of time.
It's what we all know before we are "taught" anything here. Before our parents realities and those of the ghost world around us take hold. It has saved my life on occasion and has always guided me back to creativity and self fulfillment no matter what turn I took off the path.
That turn, down an old alley, into Sign of Aquarius, was a gift at the age of 14. That's a time when teenagers can be wholly consumed by their internal angst, lack of self comfort and incessant desires to "fit in" and yet I was turned outward and into new mysteries to indulge in and to digest. They took me deeper within. . . past all the bullshit of peer pressure and "coolness" and pop culture and steered me back into my own imagination. Sign of Aquarius, in our high proced realty-crazed, big box store nightmare, is long gone. But inside, it remains alive and that dear couple, then angels in my midst, are forever with me again.