Pull Up a Bench and Sit a Spell

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Maybe it is the time of year, or maybe it is just me needing a rest, but I have been noticing chairs and benches lately, each of them coaxing me to come on over and sit a spell. I cannot even say that I am thinking while enjoy their respite; at least I cannot recall anything that I was thinking about while there. It is rather magical to be able to plant yourself in the middle of a scene and contemplate, well, nothing.

I am particularly attracted to outdoor chairs and benches that seem to be a little “weather-worn”. They are akin to how I can feel from time to time. You know the old saying “rode hard and put away wet”? Those old benches seem to say, “I have weathered the storm and I am still standing strong.” Who wouldn’t want to rest in their care and keeping? It is as if they have a story to tell me. Sitting there is somewhat reminiscent of sitting at the feet of an elderly loved one; no words exchanged as they simply pat your head in a knowing fashion.
I am not particular about which benches I gravitate to, feeling rather like a little birdie hopping and bopping from one resting place to another, anticipating the magic of having my mind completely shut down while I am there. Allowing my mind to quiet completely is not something that happens often, which is why it seems so magical to me, I suppose. My mind is one of those things that NEVER seem to stop; I can operate on very little sleep and can spin several plates in the air at a time. Therefore, when it happens, I have learned to go with it…even if it happens in a public park.
In this season of gratitude, there is much that I am grateful for things like my husband who puts up with all my eccentricities, my children, and our family’s health .I am also grateful for those magical places that give my mind respite.
I often wonder what others think as they pass by and see a middle-aged woman curled up on a public bench, lying in a fetal position or on her back watching the clouds pass by. What crosses their minds as she giggles when she sees a cloud that looks like Daffy Duck or Odie (my favorite cartoon character) pass by? Yet the thought does not stay with me too long, since I do not usually lend myself to worrying about what others think. I have also noticed that I do not worry about what others think while I am there lying on the bench—it usually happens later, when I get home and recall the experience.
Although I have never been a photographer, I feel compelled to honor these spaces by taking a photo, even though capturing these places in a photo is a little like trying to catch a firefly in a jar. Even once captured, I can never really bottle the magic that comes with them.
After the holidays, I am planning to revamp my office space, adding many of these photos to the walls in an effort to recapture their relaxing atmosphere. I also plan to add a couple Adirondack chairs with great pillows to my office as a reminder to slow down and let my mind just sit a spell.

  1. Debby says:

    Remember when the word "multitasking" was the buzzword? We could only sit if we were also doing three other things. We became just way too busy…my grandparents used to know how to be still, and just be. They had boundaries…there was a time for work, and a time to be still. We lost a lot when we began to disregard those boundaries…

  2. noeletta Cardenas says:

    We all need to find time to sit with ourselves! Not thinking about anything in particular, just sitting and being, breathing and relaxing, recouping and re-energizing! This is my wish for you for the new year. That you find the time to do just that. Love your blog! Thanks for all that you share of yourself. 🙂

  3. Debbie says:

    What a neat post! I love the pix you took of these wonderous places to sit a spell and just " be"… I feel exactly the same way about picket fences…I live in New England and they are everywhere…I have felt that same " pull" lately to photograph the ones that speak to me as well. Winter is approaching. What a glorious time to take pix of them snow covered, waiting for spring floweres to bloom around them! Keep up the wonderful posts!
    Love them…

  4. brenda says:

    I too find myself every now and then just sitting in a peaceful visual place…however my mind is trained to re-arrange it somehow and then I pop up grab the clippers, redesign the area…then I can sit more peacefully…maybe thats OCD?

  5. O'Dell says:

    Hi Rene’,
    I am reminded of the times when I was little, and we lived in an old farmhouse in CT. At times, I would leave the yard that was near the house, and climb to the top of our wheatfield, and lay in the sun, and just watch the butterflies. A quiet time for me alone. You see, by the time I was 5, there were 5 children in the family..so it was rather noisy. These days my favorite quiet times are when my guy and I are up in northern Maine..sitting by the lake, listening to the loons. I think we all need quiet time now more than ever in order to make any sense of all that is happening around us. I think it helps us to stay physically healthy too!
    here’s hoping we have calm holidays!

  6. Nancy says:

    Well said (and beautiful photos). Nothing beats just sitting in a beautiful place and gathering your thoughts, or clearing your head!

  7. DebbieSue says:

    Your Pictures are BEAUTIFUL….They are so relaxing just to look at! Thamks for posting them.

  8. electronic cig says:

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  13. Dr. Stewart says:

    I love to sit outside and just think. The fresh air and sunshine makes it so much nicer than sitting in my la-z-boy inside.

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