Max is posing in his Spiderman costume, but is a bit tired of posing.

When I had a psychic reading years ago, I learned that certain people have been appearing and reappearing in our lives as we are reincarnated, but in different roles. For example she told me that in a past life my then husband had been my father. We didn’t get along then and we didn’t really get along at that time but we were brought together again to try to work out our differences. She explained that if we didn’t work things out in this life, these people would come back in a future life to make another stab at it. 

Collection of felt hats.

You might wonder why some friends share a deeper bond than others, even members of your family. Marian Starnes, the psychic, explained that I was from another planet, Antares. Surprised, I asked if I was the only Antarean in Charlotte, and she listed five or six of my closest friends who were also aliens. She and I were relative strangers and I still wonder how she knew who my friends were. Could she see some kind of connection among us that went deeper than that of other people I knew?

All this is just not say I wonder sometimes why when you meet certain people you feel an immediate connection, as if you have known them forever. Whether we believe in reincarnation or not, it just seems impossible that you can feel that close to someone you are meeting for the first time, while other people don’t elicit that kind of reaction even after knowing them for years.   Why does that happen? Maybe psychologists can explain it. 

The calm before the frost! Maybe it won’t get that cold tonight.

That kind of magic connection happened to me last week when a couple from Florida came into Chifferobe and even though we had never met, I felt close to them in a flash. Nina and John Sing were in Black Mountain for a break from Florida heat and were poking around shops on Cherry Street and came into Chifferobe. Nina is from Russia, and John is a Chinese-American, and in spite of those ethnic differences, we bonded immediately. Nina fell in love with Chifferobe and exclaimed over everything she saw. She is one of those warm, effusive people that I am drawn to, which is part of the attraction. She dresses in a colorful gypsy style that is similar to mine and loved the clothes on the racks, selecting an armload of things to try on. John is quiet and serious, but finds Nina delightful. Whatever she wanted, he encouraged her to get. There was something about the two of them that felt so familiar, as if we had been old friends. 

New collection of mugs by Andrea Freeman

They were leaving the next day for another part of Western NC, and I was sad to see them go. The store felt empty when they left. Then a few days later they came back at the end of a drizzly day when I had been tempted to close early, but was relieved I had not. They did more shopping and John helped me with a problem I had with my laptop. They were planning to go out for dinner, and I  announced that Ron would be along soon and said we would join them. We went to Fresh and shared pizza, eating off each other’s plates like family members.  

Max is intent on doing his “homework!”

I wonder whether that instant connection we feel with certain strangers is an unconscious recognition of aspects of past friends and lovers that exist in new people. Something I loved in a parent or other family member is detected unconsciously and I love that stranger immediately.

That lemon tree is going to have to come inside!