To be honest, I don’t know where to start.
My fingers are on the keys, A,S,D, F space bar, J,K,L…
The blood moves away from my fingertips, my hands start to numb and my eyes glaze over.
I put on my headphones, my heart is pounding. Why?
I take a deep breath. I open the music player on my phone. I press play on the playlist ANOTHER DAY IN WONDERLAND, press shuffle and then it happens—
The simple distorted piano melody starts, 3 note patterns move up and down the melodic scale, 2 note chord progressions end each phrase,
“Memories fade and I try to hold on…”
And then the first tear falls.
So here I sit, with my headphones, my laptop, a cup of tea and a top hat filled to the brim with raw emotions.
"'Cause silence keeps clouding me
Hand on my heart…"
It’s a strange bittersweet feeling that floods my heart. I suppose it’s what it’ll feel like years from now when my kids have grown up and move out on their own. That feeling of great sadness mixed with so much pride and joy and love that I helped bring them to this place, where they can stand on their own two feet and go out into the world and make something of themselves. But that pin-prick sadness…it’s piercing. I feel that now, as I sit here reflecting on the past three years, on the eve of my last day open at 116 Bronte Rd.
"Now that the spring comes, I try to stay strong
But every part of me aches…
The gold fields of sunflowers all in their bloom
Now I close my eyes to feel you…"
There aren’t really words to properly describe what this space means to me. I have grown so much and learned so much about myself and my business and just what I am capable of. Year to year my brick and mortar evolved, that little 400sqft space grew and grew with me, each year, another layer of my heart, my soul, my mind bloomed and I had the privilege of sharing that with all of you, until the space simply could no longer grow with me.
"Searching high and low for peace of mind
I feel I lost the peace of mind…"
This final reflection of my first permanent home for Mad Hatter is a lot sadder than I had hoped for, but with all the excitement of a new space, a bigger space, a place to take as many little ‘eat me’ nibbles and grow and grow and grow, it’s still a bit like breaking up with your first love. It’s a little messy, it’s a little shattering. It might require copious amounts of chocolate, ice cream, a box of tissue and a stack of sappy movies and one comedy for the end after I’ve cried it all out and am ready to move on.
The next few weeks of packing and dismantling all that I have built will be cathartic and will give the time needed to move onward and upward.
"If I only knew...
I'd never take for granted
The times I took for granted
If I only knew
I'd cherish it forever
'Cause you will always matter to me…"
I moved to Bronte almost 11 years ago, bought my first home there, got married, had my first child and opened my tea shop there. Bronte was my stomping grounds. The place I planted my first real seeds and grew roots. And though I no longer live in Bronte and Mad Hatter is finding a new home, Bronte will always, always be the place I keep treasured in a locket around my neck.
Thank you Bronte for all that you have given me, thank you to all my beautiful patrons who have blessed my days with your presence, new insights and ideas, enthusiasm for my offerings, but most of all, for all the fabulous tea talks. I hope to see you all again soon as we dive deeper into a new Wonderland.
With all the love in my heart,
PS— Stay tuned for the big reveal of our new location!
*Lyrics from: Time by Snoh Aalegra