Yesterday, my last day in Wilmington was warm and blustery, preceding the arrival of storm Mangus during the wee hours. As the day revealed itself the wind howled and cloud cover thickened and thinned intermittently.   The day was ideal for seeing Airlie Gardens, a compelling combination of art, nature, history, and symmetry.  The wonders were amazing, a 467 year old live oak tree, a bottle house created to honor Minnie Evans, an outsider artist who worked at the Gardens for years creating her art there, a chapel built in 1835, ponds, and a salt water marsh.  I was in artist/nature lover/history geek heaven.  Stalking two Canada Geese that crossed my path, one honking loudly and stretching his neck, greeting the other as they walked and grazed.  Discovery in a sixty-seven acre garden, where a slow morning walk reminded me everything is always balanced and aligned.

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Seeing the Acme Art Studios (http://acme-art-studios.com/) was a high point.  Purchased by a group of artists, today the space includes 18 artists in various sized spaces – indoor and outdoor.  The gallery space changes monthly and is curated by different artists in the space each month.  I met with Fritzi Huber (www.fritzihuber.com) and Michelle Connolly (www.michelleconnollyart.com); we talked for an hour about art workspace, process, paper, ideas, and more.  Thank you both for your time and welcome spirits!  I left refreshed, energized and so glad I am part of your tribe.    

 

I feel a little like the horses I used to ride in my youth.  Not a very accomplished horsewoman, I had difficulty keeping them contained as we turned around to head home.  Some horses have this issue.  They race back to the barn either to return to the herd or to get rid of the rider.  My excitement is multifold and I cannot wait to get started on expanding my business plan and bringing to fruition a longtime dream of owning my own business in a new city.  The decision about “where” is almost made and now narrowed to two – Wilmington or Charleston. 

 

As I reflect on this almost completed relocation recon trip, there is a sense of accomplishment and direction, the first step of thousands yet to come.  Like the symmetry I saw in the formality of Airlie Gardens, there is symmetry everywhere, even if sometimes things appear asymmetrical.  I embrace this sense of symmetry or balance and know right now I stand on the precipice of a new life.  Going back to my initial dream ready to fly into this new life, the return trip, my race to the barn, begins tomorrow morning.  

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