There is another life out there. A place where people gather to appreciate beauty, cuteness and the art of the sale. I was a vendor at the Annapolis Arts and Crafts Festival this past weekend. And as I arranged and manned my little booth, I was struck by the people around me. Other vendors were kind with words of encouragement and offers to help me raise my tent or fold my tarp. We watched over each other, spelling our neighbors so they could eat or use the restroom. When I was gone, they tried to keep customers close until my return. No one touched my purse sitting on my chair. There was an honor code of watchfulness and protectiveness evident. And no one, ever, tried to lure a customer away from another's stall to their own.
But people did more than that. They offered to take a picture of my booth, to post it on social media. People suggested contacts and suggestions, freely and openly. Even customers were in my corner, wishing me luck, buying my book to support a local author, offering contacts and networking I had no idea existed.
The more kindness that was sent my way, the more I felt obliged to reciprocate in kind. The day was hot, but we bought lemonades for each other. As I tried to lower my tent at the end of the festival, fearing the gusting winds would send it flying, an elderly lady immediately appeared to offer to help me. No one was alone. We were a village in the purest sense of the word. And we laughed and enjoyed each other's company during the many long hours of heat and humidity.
I am happy that I attended the festival this year. I sold many books but that's not why I'm feeling good. During this brutal election year, when you hear so much negativity, I was honored to be among some very fine people this past weekend. My faith in mankind has ticked another notch upward.