Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ten Thousand Villages

“Do you know what “wisdom” means?”

I looked up from my seat on the floor. I was counting rocks. The were imported from India and each has a word carved into it….Joy, Peace, Love, and Wisdom. (We were out of Strength.) They had to be inventoried and to do so, I was sorting them so that I could count the rocks that had each word on them.

She had asked is she could read the words on the rocks. I had said that of course she could. She had spent a few minutes looking at them and announced the there were many Joys. We agreed that we could certainly use more Joy. She giggled and left to examine some of the store’s other treasures.

I did not realize that she had returned until I heard her question. I looked up into her six year old face and had to think about how to answer. “Yeah,” I said, then paused a few seconds. “ It’s like being smart,….and knowing how to use it. Does that make any sense to you?” She is very solemn for a few seconds. “Yeah,” she said with a smile.

With her long straight hair and inquisitive expression, she reminded me so much of my daughters when they were that age, which only seems like a few days ago. She was one of a dozen or so people who had taken refuge in Ten Thousand Villages from a furious rainstorm.

It is spring break and in Austin that means South by South West, a music conference that draws people from far and wide, as well as the state basketball playoffs and the rodeo. Ten Thousand Villages has a great location on South Congress in an area known as SoCo. Once an inexpensive hippy hang out, the area is now terminally trendy and is not to be missed by our ever increasing horde of tourists. I have been volunteering there for a few weeks. It is a nonprofit organization which brings fair trade art and décor to market from developing countries. There are Ten Thousand Villages stores all over the country. Most of the workers are volunteers. The Austin store has two full time and one part time employees. You can see the Ten Thousand Villages website to see if there is a store in your area.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

There are, indeed, many joys. I hope she always knows what to do with them and that her supply never runs out. And yours.

Pendullum said...

I will just say 'ditto' to Heartsinsanfrans point...
Many many joys ahead...