Shopkeepers on the Edge of Eternity01/23/2022
I will start by wishing everyone a rather belated Happy New Year. How belated depends on just how long it takes me to finish this post. It’s been nearly eight months since we opened *Somewhere Over the Rainbow now. And I will say that it has seldom been anything like I anticipated. I have to say it’s an ongoing adventure though, and one I hope to continue upon for some time to come.
I’ve spoken before about living in Fort Davis previously, and how through all the years I wasn’t here, this Place continued to have a hold on me, to exert an almost magnetic draw. When we moved here in the late 1990s, I fell lock, stock and totally in Love with this area. I’ve been a bit of a wanderer in this life and lived in several states. But, though I have been to many places I liked immensely, and been content in others, this sort of affinity for Place was a new experience. At that time, when curious people would ask me how I ended up here, I mostly shrugged it off and answered with one inanity or another. Truth was, though, that I felt Called here, that I was drawn to a place I had never previously heard of. Call it kismet or serendipity, but I never knew I could Fall in Love with an area, a region or a tract of Land. When we traveled out to look at potential homes, I felt that I had found mine, and our residence here only strengthened that bond.
Standing Stones, Dolmen, Menhirs and Cairns... A Megalithic Landscape
The land here is made of Magic. I look around me at this tumbled landscape of Stone and Mountain, and can almost see the hands of ancient giants at work. It is if they (?) were erecting standing stones and menhirs , or building cairns to guide, amaze and delight all who happen to come upon them. And surely, to remind us just how small and insignificant we are in the grander scheme of things.
If the land weren’t enough, the sky here is made to induce awe. In the daylight, shades of blue from the palest, to hues of such startling intensity as to dizzy the observer. Sunrises and sunsets range from ombre shaded pastels to lemon, orange and strawberry sherberts painted across the sky. And then there are the nights in West Texas, when the Dark Skies are so crowded with stars that it takes your breath away. They are a religious experience for the beholder.
In the brief span of years we’ve actually spent here, I have seen more moods, more aspects of Land and Sky, and the seemingly endless combinations they present, then anywhere else I have ever been. Getting up during the night, I peek around the blinds at the stars, and in the morning I am certain to be looking out when dawn creeps across the rumpled plains visible from our house. I go through my days looking, looking breathlessly, to paraphrase the mythic Sorcerer Don Juan Matus. I still can’t believe how fortunate I am to Live in a place that stir’s me, heart and spirit.
Finding Our Path With Heart
At Somewhere Over the Rainbow regard for the Earth and the preservation of our environment is central to our philosophy. Being able to live in an area of such immense natural wonder only emphasizes to us the need to do more in that regard.
At present, we contribute to and seek to promote environmental organizations. We are particular fans of The Nature Conservancy (Their Fort Davis Office is our neighbor on State Street), The Big Bend Conservation Alliance, and The International Dark Sky Association to name three. These great organizations overlap in some areas, but cover a diverse range of ecological and cultural ground. From protecting our skies from light pollution, to preserving the land and opting for better agricultural practices; from keeping the aquifer healthy to assisting indigenous peoples with concerns of lands, rights and sovereignty, they serve our Area, and the Earth.
At our shop, we are taking steps to minimize our carbon footprint and be kind to the planet. We use kraft bags and boxes for packaging in lieu of plastic, and are endeavoring to decrease packaging wherever possible. If you order from us, your package may not be beautiful, because it will likely as not be shipped in recycled and repurposed packing materials. When we do need to purchase New packaging, we are mindful that it be as sustainable and recyclable as possible. However, we don’t throw away what is still on hand and serviceable to replace it with the latest trend in eco-conomy or sustainable living. It is wasteful to do so, and just contributes to the never-ending cycle of blind consumerism. We need to reuse items till the end of their useful lifecycles, and thoughtfully buy New with an eye to quality, serviceability and longevity.
We sell mostly items made of natural or recycled materials, and we offer a selection of environmentally friendly household supplies. We do organic whenever possible, and are pledged to get better as we learn and grow. As we begin to interface more with our adopted community, we hope to help educate and illuminate our neighbors and customers. We are Over the Rainbow over things like vintage goods and clothing. We believe in and have long practiced Slow Fashion. We buy only the things we really love new, and wear them for a long time, or resell or donate what remains serviceable and attractive. While we sell a selection of new Tee Shirts (and print them in-house), we also have a rack of quality vintage and used clothing which has already proved quite popular.
As time goes by, and we get better at being Us, we will also constantly strive to get better at serving the Earth, at making choices in sales and services that impact as positively as possible. This is our West Texas Idyll, and we want to help keep it that way.
Till Next time… Happy Trails