What is it about chairs that make daily moments so delightful? Even the most basic of chairs made of wood spindles or blocks fashioned into a seat beckon us to come, sit, and daydream. A chair relieves burdens from our minds, shoulders, and feet. Chairs are their own standalone fashion statement – representing complex personalities calling out to all who understand their frame.
Chairs carry our burdens, absorb our tears, provide comfort and shelter, and whisk us away to secret places. They are portals of communication with each other and with God, whether in word, thought, or prayer; a private sanctum that takes us deeper into our thoughts, stirs creativity, ushers in rest, and invites intimacy.
Chairs are irresistible
There’s little more delightful than a room or table filled with mismatched chairs as it subconsciously celebrates the varied personalities of people. Each piece beckons and connects with just the right soul. They speak to us and delight us with their design and artistic variety, whether simple or complex.
Chairs offer a mini escape; each one ready to listen or tell its own tale. Always a perfect best friend because they put us at ease when we are unsettled, eagerly await our complaints and delights, and listen to secrets…but never tell. Few can resist their call to ‘come and be’, reminiscent of the draw of a Siren’s song over the waters of the sea.
A Seat Of Memory
Not too long ago I found myself caught up in a magazine article on rocking chairs. I love rocking chairs. There’s something so relaxing and peaceful about closing one’s eyes, putting your head back, and allowing the gentle back and forth to soothe a tired soul.
I probably got my affinity for rocking chairs from summer visits to my grandparent’s home. The perfectly manicured mini backyard was my favorite spot in the entire world despite being located in one of the most barren towns in America, Rock Springs, WYO. The lush grass was no more than 10′ x 15′ but managed to host two large trees. Grandpa trimmed the trees into perfectly round balls and kept the grass deep green and cut to an exact height. My sister and I ran barefoot and rolled in that grass our entire childhood. It was always cool and soft – and the freshly cut lawn mixed in with the summer raspberry bushes, smelled like heaven.
Most of our summer activities revolved around the backyard: picnics, lighting firecrackers and sparklers, rollerskating on the concrete patio, water fights, playing kick the can with cousins, and card games late into the night. But my favorite memories are of grandpa coming outside and settling down onto a large squeaky porch swing. In an instant, grandkids were fighting for a coveted spot next to grandpa on the swing.
The swing was massive, holding four adults or a dozen kids piled on each other. Thick springs under the green vinyl of the seat made it bouncy. Strips of heavy-duty silver duct tape covered tears in the vinyl from decades of children bouncing and playing on the swing. Grandma threw a blanket over the vinyl and tape to make it soft and cozy. Large chain links rose up from the back and arms of the seat to rusty green coils, the size of my arm, which were fastened to a large metal frame. The swing was so heavy no one dared move it. For 50 years the swing stayed on the back patio. I can still hear the coil springs clank against the metal frame with every forward and backward motion.
Words were few on the swing. It was our place to lean against grandpa and stare at the patch of grass and trees. I’d give anything to have a few more moments with grandpa rocking back and forth in silence. Life was at its best next to grandpa in the swing on the back patio.
The article on rocking chairs was a delight to read as it not only brought back treasured memories but was timely as I had recently purchased a rocking chair and put it in my study and prayer room. It had been over a decade since I had one and this particular chair was extra special.
It was obviously old but more than that, it was made for a smaller person (ahem) and beautifully simple. I loved it! Something in me said was made for me. Later, I discovered that the rocker belonged to an older woman (who I happened to know) and it was originally her grandmother’s prayer chair. Now I was more in love with it than ever and understood why I needed it. Rocking chairs are the best thinking and praying chairs – and that’s exactly why I wanted one.
My rocker is my prayer chair…or the one I go to if I’m stressed, upset, or if it’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and I want to be quiet. It calms my body. I imagine the other people who sat in this same rocker. The slow-motion draws me deeper into my imagination.
Come And Be
I have an appreciation for all kinds of unique chairs, stopping at vintage shops to admire the lovely pieces merchandised with care. I suppose each room in our house should have a special chair to add interest to a space and bring a bit of happy to an occupant. We all need a chair to slide into which feels like our “spot” where it folds around us and invites us into a secret place.
Besides my prayer rocker, I have my thinking chair. Very modern and bright in contrast to the old, dark wood of the rocker. It was a purchase way outside of my budget. But, again, when I saw it, I knew it was mine. Teal polka dot fabric with a cushy highback and sidearms forms an inviting seat situated on a swivel base. It fits me – just like my rocker, but in a different way. It’s where I go to think and simply ‘Come and Be’. It’s also where I sit to do puzzles, write in my journal, or brainstorm.
MY THINKING & PRAYING chairs
I feel happy when I sit in my chairs. All of us should have a chair like that, where we feel safe and happy, comforted. Whether a recliner situated in the corner of a living room, spindle back chairs in the kitchen nestled by a favorite window to sip coffee and stare out into nature, modern forms resembling works of art in an industrial loft, or hanging macrame swing in a college dorm.
Instinctively, we all have chairs we designate as ours and where we can come and be ourselves.
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