2002–Driving along Rt 169, Pomfret, Quiet Corner, Connecticut… God’s country… Humming some quaint Cole Porter medley.
Passing by a lovely pink Bed & Breakfast, the name: Celebrations. A majestic fairytale castle. Is it real or am I dreaming, and it’s actually spun sugar?
I feel like celebrating. I also have an inner urge to meet the person who conceived of the name, surely a kindred spirit, in homage to the goddess of joie de vivre!
I step on the break, make a hasty “U-ie”, and gingerly drive down the curvy dirt driveway leading up to the beautiful edifice with the welcoming expansive wraparound porch and wraparound gardens.
Meet the owner, Jean Barton, who tells me the story of how she came to be innkeeper of this gorgeous Victorian mansion. In a nutshell, she was following up on a dream, turning it into a passion.
The story is interesting enough in itself, meanwhile I tell her about a women’s gathering, called Women’s Passion in Action, that I recently helped create at Water’s Edge Resort in Westbrook. An affair in which women could shine and give much-needed permission for other women to follow their bliss.
A distinct meant-to-be, our meeting on that glowing, pink-edged afternoon …
For years later, there I was, sitting at a beautifully appointed table at Celebrations, now a gallery voted #1 by Yankee Magazine, surrounded by glorious artwork and objets–d‘art—all tangible results of women pursuing their passions—signing my memoir, GATHERING ROSES, THORNS AND ALL, to interested women stopping by. Sharing with them stories of meant-to-bes. Connecting with women who have also experienced and learned to appreciate the roses-and-thorns nature of a fully-lived life. The exquisite pleasure of recognition!
Ah, the magic of the Ripple Effect!
What if I never made that totally unlawful U-ie? (By the way, I did make sure no one was coming in either direction!)
I would have missed all the magic…
No regrets. Not this time.
Then there are those times when I fail to listen to the little voice, fail to follow the inner urge to take an unprecedented step, take a risk, perhaps slightly reckless, and open a brand new door…
Running into a gust of wind instead of away from it.
They still haunt me in the waning hours.
More about those foibles another time.
Let’s not spoil the mood of this one!
Instead, sprinkle some confetti generously as you pass—and celebrate!
P.S. By the way, edifices can reinvent themselves also. Coming full circle, Celebrations, once a B & B now a gorgeous extensive gallery and gift shop, will be serving delightful afternoon teas starting November 13, 2010. Returning partially to its identity roots. Somewhat.
I invite you to share a reinvention story of your own!