In an empty café in a booth I sat waiting patiently for my food to be brought to me. Phone turned off for the day I simply sat and observed through the window.
Pigeon filled powerlines and rusty orange bricks filled with the like
A sign hung ‘Jubilee Antiques’ so faded from the light, yet a sign far newer than the store and all it holds.
Meal finished and I ran across the road and into Jubilee. Squeezing through the narrow corners and nooks of the shop it smelt of Nan’s, rotten wood, musty books and just oldness in general. An old record player spun as a man’s smooth voice filled the air. Looking at the record player spinning, my head spun In tune as if it were a time machine taking me to another era
The shop from floor to ceiling was filled with trinkets and treasures of rare, strange, obscure and old. Wooden trunks which smell remnant of only God knows what? Faded books with tea stains, dirt and no doubt tears and maybe a little mould. So many gadgets I know not of its use or even it’s name.
What once was a gadget of treasure and worth is now a memoir of times past and gone. As I looked around the shop of Jubilee, I felt now how those of times past feel in a world where they know not how to use gadgets nor do they understand the music or the people.. I was young and without a clue of what I was surrounded by.
A sweet lady strolled by humming to the song from the record player, she moved as if it were a Sunday morning and she had no place at all to be; picking up each treasure, running her finger over an old perfume bottle with a pump, then a telephone with a spinning dial.
Oh what I would give to observe like a fly upon high wall, the grainy sepia images running through her mind, the smell of the perfume; sprayed before the date of a courter maybe? What was she wearing? What pattern was on the wallpaper? Who was the mystery man? Did they speak of the future or wonder if their entire world and room around them may one day end up in a shop called ‘Jubilee Antiques’.
Then I thought with a little shock and dismay; could my phone, my camera, my lamp, my handbag, and my entire world end up in a shop like this one-day? Things I now call ‘new’ in a ‘new’ world I don’t recognise in a shop that might as well be a museum.
The sweet old lady purchased the small perfume bottle, most likely double the price she paid for it 40 years ago? Double the price of one new and not to mention filled with perfume, unlike the empty rusted bottle filled with dust. What would cause her to purchase this bottle?
It occurred to me, that though it may have been empty in the physical, it was filled in form of memory, memories of value although old, worth their weight in gold. And so she left the store, trinket in hand, skip in her step and jubilee in heart. I resisted the urge to chase her down and ask her a thousand questions in one breath, of her life and her story.
For in that moment I had a thought in mind of a man who knows her every thought, he knows every era of time, every gadget every invention – all things! One whose linen clothes and leather sandals I would buy and treasure if in this shop they were sold.
For older than these ornaments and etchings in wood are the wonders of the world, the works of his hands, the oceans, the sand filled shore, the mountains, valleys and trees. Upon them each day I walk without stopping to think twice – why don’t we call the beach or the lakes antique? If they are older than we can understand? And the hands that created all of this are older than world and time itself.
These same hands that offer day after day to hold our own, his eyes upon you like a precious perfume bottle 99 people overlook as worthless or old… He would purchase you for the price of all the ruby’s and gold in the world. In fact, and a fact at that – he already has! Purchased and redeemed, bought at highest price with many a bidder in the room. Bidders of the world placing their thoughts of what you are worth.
Yet with the price he paid he gave a choice, you may stay in the shop amongst things of old – or you may go adventure with him and be taken home. There is a place prepared for you in his home, his glorious home. He picks you up with eyes of love and Jubilee and whispers, “I don’t take anything old or of little value into my home, because you are new and have value so high and wide”.
The old and the new, and the circle of it all, what funny odd thoughts to think. If my heart and mind could be antiques of value and worth, I hope with conviction, that they are filled with jubilee and not worthless pigeon poo.