The other morning, my husband and I were reading a humorous article about the days when we, as kids, could hop on our bicycles after school, knowing the only admonishment we’d receive was, “Don’t come home till supper.” After we got through laughing, reminiscing, and recalling our youthful days with a kind of wistful nostalgia, I realized how much freedom we had had back then. We had such amazing opportunities to imagine, to explore, to make decisions, and to think independently.
I’d get on my Columbia bike and pedal my way to adventure, looking to see what I could find along the way, what treasures I could bring home to my mother. I saw beauty in Queen Anne’s Lace and other wildflowers, in acorns, pinecones, and horse chestnuts. All these things I’d carry home to arrange into something worthy of my creativity. After all, that stuff was there for the picking, right alongside the road.
But the real finds were in the bulky waste pickup. Those were the days in which adaptive reuse was called dump-diving. And I was plunging in head first. I remember being so excited the time I found a really great frame. It was just waiting to come alive with a fresh coat of paint and a family picture. I got a lot of brownie points for that find.
The Past is a Present to the Future
All that fun I had creating memory lane on my bicycle informs the work we do at The ArtFitters today. We find new uses for things that frequently have been forgotten. We have a keen, practiced eye for placing unlike things together, in creating wholes that are so much greater than the sums of their seemingly disparate parts, in turning adaptive reuse into eclectic design.
As a child, I strove to surprise my mom with things that would please her. Today, The ArtFitters strive to surprise our clients with things that please them.
We all search for our purposes in and our contributions to life, to create meaning in and fulfillment through our work. Sometimes our efforts are thwarted by peer pressure, by a lack of self-faith, by misplaced desires to make others happy or to make money. But sometimes …
Years ago, I read What Color is Your Parachute. It told me to look at what I loved doing as a child.
If I’d read that book while riding my Columbia, I’d have saved a lot of time.