“There’s beauty in ordinary life, pages full of stories that turn ordinary into magical moments… Bits of magic everywhere you look from page to page. When reading Bella Grace you know there are still women who live authentically… and take the time to stop and pause to wonder and dream.”
— Lisa RedWillow
If you believe that there is beauty and magic to be found everywhere in life and want to see your name in print in the pages of Bella Grace, we want you to share your stories with us! If you are a writer, blogger, photographer, or listicle extraordinaire, submit your work for publishing consideration for our Winter Issue, now accepting submissions through July 15th, 2016.
We often associate romance with relationships and it is so easily forgotten that there are many romances to experience in this beautiful, chaotic life. The romance between you and something you love. Reading, traveling, taking in a sunset or sunrise, writing, painting. And the romance you have with yourself. Taking time to pamper your body, spirit and mind.
For me one of my fondest romances is being in the kitchen creating all kinds of delicious concoctions. My eyes come alive when I see stunning produce at the farmers market, my spirit finds a quiet joy in planting and harvesting plants I have grown with my two small hands. I have always found honesty and trust within the kitchen. Not just with the food, but the way people let down their guards while sharing a meal. The walls come down, every sense is entranced with the delicacies laid before them and all of a sudden stories start to flow, laughter dances in the air, and pure enjoyment fills the room. There is nothing quite as beautiful as watching humans share, and emit pleasure and appreciation.
Tea, you and I go way back.
I first heard about you when I was about three or four years old. I was outside under a lacy green maple tree sipping pink lemonade out of pastel rose tea cups enjoying tiny sandwiches, cucumbers and strawberries. Mom had suggested we have a picnic tea party for lunch. I invited my dolls, stuffed teddy bears and my beagle, Roxie joined us.
At ten years old, tea became a weekly reward after I did chores at my grandparents’ home. My grandmother would decorate the table with fine linens, a bowl of sugar cubes, a pitcher of cream, and a hodgepodge of floral tea cups and plates colored the table resembling an indoor garden. I learned proper manners and enjoyed your company from a bone china cup.
He carried a floral gift bag bigger than any purse I owned into my kitchen. My birthday present. I wore a dress the colors of the ocean, my hair curled, my makeup done for our night at the philharmonic. I couldn’t wait for the night to start, but lingering excitement came over me as I suspected what might just be in that floral bag.
The tissue paper susurrated as I swept it aside and withdrew a wrapping paper-covered box. It was a carrying case, and inside was my 1948 Remington Rand typewriter. The tiny metal arms stamped with letters and numbers fanned around the green-gray shell and the black ribbon that transfers the ink to the creamy linen pages. The silver lever that moved the type to the next line gleamed. A tiny part of me suspected, but I didn’t let myself believe, that this glittering slice of magic was in that bag. It was the most romantic gift I’ve ever received.
The soft hum of conversation surrounds me. I sit at a small rectangular table by the wall of my my favorite local coffee shop, a friendly trio – my mug of cherry mocha, composition notebook journal, and small potted plant – keeping me company. This is a comfortable place, one without even a hint of pretense. Lovingly-wrapped chocolates line the shelves along the walls, waiting to be purchased as gifts, and small pieces of artwork from a local photographer hang in the gaps. It is early morning, and the old-timers are meeting behind me, bonding over the small town newspaper, or maybe a game of chess, and discussing current events. The regulars, those who are in the rushed transition between home and work, bustle in and out, grabbing their cuppa something and offering a quick hello to friend and stranger alike. After sharing a few greetings of my own, I root around in my purse for my bright yellow fountain pen and settle in for a quiet hour.
It’s like this nearly every morning. This small place, frequented by so many in my town, is a hodgepodge of scattered, mismatched wooden chairs and tables, all with unique personality, and each holding moment after moment of shared life. I am hard-pressed to find the shop empty, unless I am waiting by the door when it is unlocked, and surprisingly, this comfortable-in-her-skin introvert likes it that way. I am known here. And not just by the owners and the regular guests, but also by the space.