Michele and I found a day to spend together at the Renaissance Festival. It’s located a couple of hours from where I live so I set out early. It was a gorgeous fall day and with my music cranked in the car it seemed like it was a 15 minute drive. (Some of you know that I have a little bit of a lead foot, just a little bit. It did take me longer though than 15 minutes to drive the 120 miles to get there.) Michele greeted me with a hug and we started off with a map of the festival in hand. It was then that I got my first text of the day from Coach. He asked what I was up to. I told him my plan for the day and he asked if I was a damsel or a wench. What a character. Of course I’m a little bit of both! This was Michele’s introduction to Coach. He was making a good impression on her too.
Our first plan of action though was to visit Toni the Tarot Lady. We looked up her booth number on the map, same place as last year. She was doing a reading when we got there, but her assistant was taking appointments and we took the next available openings. Toni has been here at the Festival for years. She has regular customers and does readings from her home throughout the rest of the year.
I first met The Tarot Lady right here at the Renaissance a few years ago. I was with (although I didn’t know it at the time) my soon-to-be-ex the first time I had a reading. I had him come in with me while she did what she does best. Toni is a petite, warm, motherly woman. Her voice and demeanor are both very soft and calming. When I said that my husband was going to sit in on the reading, she looked at me and said, “oh, you have no secrets?” I’d never met her before but she knew I did. That very first time, she asked me to sit at her small round table. Then as she gathered what she needed, I looked around. The ‘booth’ is more like a small cottage you’d find deep in the woods. Once inside the door, there’s no presence of the hustle of magicians and musicians from the festival. The room is dimly lit with a candle burning on the table. Toni sat across from me and reached for my hands. She closed her eyes for a moment and then told me to take a deep breath and clear my mind. We sat quietly for a moment and she gave my hands a gentle squeeze. As she let go of my hands I looked up into her eyes. I don’t think she needed any cards to know what she already knew.
She handed me a deck of well-worn tarot cards. They were shaped differently than any I’d ever seen before. I commented on them and she said they were the very first and only tarot cards she’s ever used. She had me shuffle the cards and then cut them to the left into three different piles. She repeated this. Then as she laid them out, she said she would begin the reading and then I could ask her 3 questions.
Unlike that first time, for today’s reading, I’d be going in alone. Michele waited just outside. Impatiently pacing for the 15 minutes I’d be hearing about my near future. Toni has been right on target with many of the things she’s told me. Once she said that my son and his wife (they weren’t married yet) would be traveling to big water. They had just returned from a two-week San Diego vacation. She also told me that my other son would be divorcing. He’d only been married for a year at the time, but as of this writing he is in fact divorced.
So whether it’s all in good fun or if she truly has a gift, I always look forward to the things she’ll tell me. If nothing else she is a very empowering and inspiring lady. As she began the reading… she sort of scolded me. She said I hadn’t done as she’d recommended. She told me that I needed to focus and sit down and write every day. That the things I have to share with readers will teach in creative ways. She told me that when the first of the year came I seriously needed to schedule writing time every day. Toni shared with me that I would be doing public speaking because of my writing. Then she asked me what my first question was.
I proceeded to tell her that I had left my marriage and was going ahead with a divorce. But that I had someone to ask her about. Before I could utter another word, she said. “it’s too soon for you.” Then she turned over a series of cards and said..”well, maybe not. Tell me about him.” I was most interested in Coach today. I had printed off his profile picture on my computer so Michele could see what he looked like, but it was Toni who wanted to see him. As I showed her his picture, she smiled and said “he’s not forever, but he’s for now. And she told me to enjoy myself. I told her that I would. She said I should come for a regular reading in a few months. She hugged me and smiled. As I walked out of the quaint little cottage, Michele was waiting with an eager grin.. “Well?” she asked me. I smiled as we walked past a troop of jugglers. Then she grabbed my arm and said “tell me.” I gave her the details and she said that I’d have to get busy on my writing. I knew she was right. I love to write but I just can’t seem to focus long enough to get started. Something seems to be blocking me.
As the day wore on we filled ourselves with bread bowl soups, fruit smoothies, and turkey legs. Of course we meandered through all sorts of artisan shops, stained glass, pottery, jewelery, china, and period clothing shops. We took in a couple of stage shows, my favorite being Puke and Snot. Men in tights.. you just can’t beat that. But even with sexy man legs, Coach was managing to keep my focus. I wonder what we’ll do on our date this weekend.