There’s a pottery place here in Asheville that I love, East Fork. Their pieces are elegant, beautiful, solid, graceful, a pleasure both to look at and to use.
And their email newsletters are a joy to read. They highlight a new product, sometimes an employee, and always end with a poem.
JOY | by Carl Sandburg
Let a joy keep you.
Reach out your hands
And take it when it runs by,
As the Apache dancer
Clutches his woman.
I have seen them
Live long and laugh loud,
Sent on singing, singing,
Smashed to the heart
Under the ribs
With a terrible love.
Let joy kill you!
Keep away from the little deaths.
Today marks one year since I signed the papers and moved into my new home in Asheville. Home, not house. From the moment I moved in, this felt like home, like where I was supposed to be. I’m not sure how many hours I’ve spent on the front porch swing, listening to rain storms, watching lightning, reading the mail, chatting with neighbors, or simply being. I’ve explored a few mountain trails and made a few acquaintances who are now friends. I’ve eaten more fried chicken than I probably should have, and enjoyed the vinegary tang of NC barbecue once again. I’ve listened to some great local musicians and marched in protests. I’ve explored farmer’s markets and discovered the store I visit most is the local Ace Hardware, where the woman working the register greets me with puns on my purchases. I’ve hosted friends from CA, from NY, from GA, from FL, from other parts of NC, and have visited the Biltmore House so often that I can almost recite the audio tour verbatim. And I wouldn’t have changed a moment.
1 broken appliance (fixed by the repairman unplugging, then replugging in, the refrigerator…)
2 near heart attacks (once when a squirrel jumped on the roof and starting throwing nuts, I thought I was under attack and once when I was in the basement and the gas furnace came on, spewing flames, I thought the house would explode)
3 evening walks through beautiful trees
4 neighbors met
5 locks re-keyed
6 floor cleanings (houses with no furniture are easy to sweep and mop)
7 pieces of mail received
8 days of working with the front door open, a cool breeze blowing, and birds singing
9 nights falling asleep to crickets chirping
10 hours sitting in the porch swing, swinging and reading and daydreaming.
I’m feeling mighty happy about living here.