Tears and Laughter: Just in case…

Back in Sandflat when we were kids, once a year my brother and I would sit side-by-side in our dad’s recliner and slowly turn page-by-page through the toy section of the JC Penney Christmas catalog we would have spread across our laps. A fire burning in the fireplace warmed us, and Walter Cronkite delivered us the news of the day.

We would take turns choosing from each page which toy was our favorite. We were two kids just dreaming out loud.

Sometimes, in hints and glimpses, my son and youngest daughter remind me of us back then. They have the same four-and-a-half year age divide. They remind me, but times have changed.

I guess I had paused too long in front of the display thinking, because the guy behind the counter came over and asked if I was familiar with their salt lamps. He was wearing a beanie and had not long completed a pass through the store playing a singing bowl. His expression was peaceful and he looked kind. I wanted to be able to tell him I was familiar with their salt lamps.

The Earthbound Store, or rather, Earthbound Trading Company, has become a popular shopping option in many malls. It is not necessarily geared toward a younger crowd so much as it is angled – it seems – more toward people who have a strong appreciation for cannabis novelties and the late 1960’s, early 70’s era. Like if you want to buy a hookah in several different sizes and colors, or let’s say you are in the market for an incense sampler pack, Earthbound is your place.

If you want a set of shot glasses that stack together in the form of a totem pole or a gemstone carved into the shape of a spirit animal, you can get those there too.

The salt lamp display is just inside the entrance. There were several sized lamps already on. They slowly changed from natural white stone to deep emerald green before fading to icy blue, then a deep blue that slides into soft lavender that strengthens to pink before becoming hot red, and cooling again to green.

I had just been standing there trying to figure out how they managed to put a light unit inside of a rock while my son searched for a replica of a sword to hang on his wall. His sister was already ready to move along, complaining that she was going to get a headache because she didn’t like the aroma misting from the diffuser on the counter.

I didn’t tell the guy in the beanie all of that. I just told him we were not familiar with salt lamps.

“Oh!” he said, like he was happy we had never heard of them so he would have the chance to talk about them. “The energy in these lamps is similar to the energy that is found at the top of a mountain, or beside a waterfall or a crystal clear stream. It takes you back to calm places in life. It releases positive ions that help balance the energy our phones, laptops and TVs emit.”

By then McCay was back from touring the store and was completely sold on the benefits of the salt lamp. McKenzie of course also had to have one.

I almost walked away, but turned back and decided to buy one too. I don’t long or worry for mountain tops or crystal blue pools. And I don’t know that if will recapture the calm of Sandflat either, but…just in case.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.