I visit Gainesville and Ocala; a memory of a good feeling time and place

Sunday, March 29, 2009. I’ve had a busy last two days.  Yesterday I was in Cassadaga, and Friday I was in Gainesville and Ocala.  I had to meet a client in St. Cloud first thing Friday morning, so I took the turnpike and I-75 into Gainesville.  I had not been there for several years, and immediately noticed there was eastbound traffic on University Avenue.  My timing put me there at noontime, and of course I was driving into downtown.  I noticed there were azaleas in bloom and dogwood and wisteria.  I love the look of the little houses and yards with their flower gardens.  I liked driving past the university and seeing the kids all out and moving about.  I like being in a college town, it’s one reason I enjoy living in Melbourne, with the young, eager, hopeful energy of the college students.  It makes me even more hopeful about our future.

I visited with Cheryl at Wild Iris Books and with Otter and Trout and Otter and Trout Trading Co. I love that  historic downtown area of Gainesville they are both in, I park at one store and walk across the street to the other.  Gainvesville has a very fun, energetic feel about it.  I saw a lot of people on bikes, all ages.  That was very cool and reminded me of Coconut Grove in Miami, circa 1970’s.  Also some Hare Krsna, another deja vu.  It very much reminded me of being 20 growing up in Miami, living off and on in group life at an ashram, being part of the Coconut Grove scene during the hippie heyday.

My memories of that time include feeling very connected to a large group of people, all of us focused (somewhat, after all it was the 70’s) in the same direction.  All working for the same cause, all striving to please the same boss/parent/being/diety.  It was a structure at a time I felt supported by structure, at a time I felt comforted by structure.  It was a very controlled environment, but a very happy time nonetheless.  And it is the freedom and fun and connection and communality of that time that I am reminded of in Gainesville.  It was a very fun place to vibrate in for a few hours, plus I like that they have two Mother Earth Markets

I then left to drive to Ocala to meet with Janet Slimak and we had a fun visit together.  I also met Dee at Mystic Realms.    Now Ocala has the Mother Earth Market I like the best,  It’s bigger and has more of everything, as well as good vegetarian, refrigerated lunch salads and sandwiches.  Plus they carry the Better ‘n Peanut Butter that I like, just 1 gram of fat per tablespoon as opposed to 8 grams in regular peanut butter.  Also they carry the frozen Dominex Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs that are so good.  I’m going to find an eggplant/TVP recipe and make some myself.

It was such a fun two days of visiting and connecting.  It is days like that that I can hold in my memory and in my heart as a good visual “happy place/happy time” memory.  A memory of being in a really good feeling place.  The kind of day that, when I start to have a day that isn’t going so well, I can bring to mind the memory of the good feeling days, the days I felt connected and appreciated and in the flow.  And invariably I begin to feel better and then I am reminded of who I am and then my crummy day begins to get better  and I laugh at myself for forgetting in the first place.  Because after all, that’s life. I get up.  I walk.  I fall down.  Meanwhile, I keep dancing. (Hillel)

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