I remember quite distinctly being in the library one late winter day, pouring over an English country garden book (as one does in Maine in the late winter days). I don't remember the book, but I do remember the light bulb moment as I decided that my life needed more benches. Yes, yes...benches. I suppose the appeal is a bit like my approach to knitting, particularly with very, very little ones. I always scattered projects throughout the house, in every room, so that should I, by some chance, find myself with a peaceful moment of occupied children, I could pick up the needles and knit without disturbing the peace. So maybe the same could be said for benches? If there were benches at every corner, perhaps I could find more opportunity to sit a spell. To stop and admire what's planted around me. To connect with those beside me. Surely that's something we could all use a little more of.
So when this garden season began, I was quite committed to fulfilling this bench dream. I started at Brimfield where I found many adorable benches but nothing that could possibly withstand the abuse of a Maine winter or my children (the latter being slightly more worrisome). I scoured the garden stores for benches, with no luck of finding on that was either made in the United States or within my budget. Once those avenues didn't produce the sought after benches, there was only one thing left to do, of course. Do it myself. And as I said last week, this really was the perfect project for me to try on my own. And now, after some sanding and painting (Benjamin Moore's Blue Lake), they're in place. In three different spots throughout the yard and pastures, each at the ready for some sitting.
In the front garden, where one can watch all the comings and goings, and play with horses.
In the pond pasture, where one can stand and shout and recite a monologue, in practice for auditions.
And in the back yard, where one can read and daydream and talk to the goats.
Each time I pass one of these benches, they call to me - come, have a seat. Breathe easy. Sit a spell.
I love them for that.