The owners, Rachel and Judith are a mother and daughter team, who have created a garden of sculptures leading out to a marsh. They call it their gift to anyone who wants to visit and it really was a magic place.
But it wasn't just the natural beauty around. I left The Giving Tree Gallery knowing that I wanted to have poetry round my garden at home too. And that I wanted to make things myself to decorate it, however simple.
I loved speaking with Rachel. She's funny and clever and generous and one of those people you feel you've known for ever. I left with a CD compilation that we listened to for the rest of our holiday, and her book - "My Theory on How to Avoid Being Sad (in 116 parts)" - both of which she gave me as an early birthday present. Part Number 5 in her funny and clever list seemed particularly relevant:
5. Talk to strangers who talk to you. It is the rare, special person who will begin a conversation with a strange because they find themselves together, in a line, on an elevator etc. These are usually not sad people. Especially because to talk to you means they are most likely NOT talking on a cell phone.
Oh, there's nothing I enjoy better than meeting people who inspire me. It's as if I can become a bit bigger myself somehow. I now have something new now that I didn't have before. I love the idea that my world keeps growing, and that I am seeing common themes as to what will make that elusive *click* ... passion, and commitment, and a desire to make something new rather than to take things away from others, but most of all a huge dollop of good humour and fun.
Impossible to choose any really, but here are three particular people who I've discovered online this year and who - personally or through their on-line presence - have inspired me in many different ways and so who continue to make my life a bit bigger...
* Susannah and the way she looks so closely to really see things 'with new eyes'
* Linda for her walking and joy in making maps
* The Sartorialist because looking good is part of loving life
I'd love to know whose website you go to for an injection of inspiration. All suggestions welcome (including yourselves!)
(And another joyful thing about the Giving Tree is that the jewelry is all available online. Here's one on my wishlist....)