When I returned to Mountain Laurel Florist at 15 Tioranda Avenue for the second time this week, a memory of walking around in Kopervik, Norway during Christmas in 1986 came to my mind. The building has a quaint European flair. I had just walked down from the Howland Cultural Center's "Holiday Crafts" show. That simple act of walking to engage in last minute shopping for something handcrafted or living like a poinsettia, wreath or seasonal flowers, triggered the happy memory.
But it was also the warm conversation and easy exchange between the customer and the proprietor that struck a chord of familiarity. That reminded me of how I felt when I moved to Beacon over 10 years ago when most of the shopkeepers knew your name and a connection was established whether you were purchasing, browsing or asking about a special item to order.
Laura, the proprietor of Mountain Laurel Florist, is an experienced florist who is homegrown as a lifelong Beaconite. She previously had a shop located on Route 52 (2004-2010). She has re-established herself in this new venue down from Main Street after independently contracting as a florist in the ensuing years. While shops off of Main Street may not always get the peripatetic sightseeing crowd who have been frequenting the area since the pandemic and updated featured NYT article, those who are residents and want to establish an ongoing relationship with a florist will not be deterred because it's off the beaten path. In fact, the location may be part of the lure for those who are familiar with the many side streets and shortcuts that are helpful when looking for parking.
The possibilities of new growth is a sign of hope, which is still needed at this dark time of the year, even though we've just turned the corner with the days getting longer. Since Laura is so close to her roots, my wish is that she may bloom where she is planted.
Food for thought: What gives you hope this holiday season? What memory have you had from your earlier years that evokes an enduring sense of peace and joy found in the simple things? What do you hope takes root and begins to grow in 2021?