It was fifteen to six, the time the antique store closed. But we had to go in, anyway, even if only for those last few minutes. And when I walked past those front doors and faced the long treasure aisles, I breathed in and felt I was home.
There's something wonderful about the air of an antique store: it's filled with old dust, vanilla-smelling old books, and the thickness of old memories and lives lived and mementos left behind.
I could easily have spent a few hours in this particular store--I could also live there, but I don't think the owners would like that much. Every single shelf, every single corner, and every single wall has potential. You never know where you will find the piece that calls to you. So you walk through each booth, glance at each spot, trying to make certain that your eye alights on every item. Your eye roves around, rolls across the layers like a laser searching for its soul. Price only matters second: first you have to find something you love, then you see if it's in your budget. Because even if it's only a dollar, you have to love it.
I didn't see anything that met these two necessities during my fifteen minute walk-through (I was only able to get through half the store, even going quickly). But it's okay: I breathed in and I listened to the stories. The stories of the woman who wore that feathered hat out to the movies, the man who built and sold that wooden chair, the child who played with that doll.
Their fingerprints live on if we remember to love the things that they loved, not neglecting the "old things" in favor only of new ones.