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Artwork: "Hug" by Rani Ban

I've often thought about the role that a gift shop plays in the community. You come in for a card or a bouncy ball - can it get much deeper than that? What I've found in just these first few months of being open is that yes, yes it can.

When people come in and ask for a gift, you'd be surprised at how personal the experience becomes. I've heard stories of surprise engagements & pregnancy news, gatherings rescheduled because of illness and exposure, anniversaries of weddings, deaths, and the opening and closing of beloved neighborhood businesses. 

Gifts are ceremony. They mark a moment in time and the people within it that are meaningful. They bring hope and provide solace. And sometimes they are just for the beauty of it; we know we could use more of that going 'round.

So this Valentine's Day, I tip my hat to love in all its forms. Neighborly love, familial, fresh romance and friendship alike. We need to perpetuate love and let it spread far and wide. One bouncy ball at a time.

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