On my personal walks, I pass by many benches. Most of them empty, lonely, waiting upon some sojourner to pause along their way to enjoy that particular place and moment… to sit a spell… setting aside their agenda other than to give themselves the gift of time to rest, meditate and reflect.
I enjoy taking photos on my walks. Here are some of the benches I’ve met along the way and plan to revisit on future leisurely walks and to picnic. These benches can be found throughout Alton Baker Park, around Discovery Park and along Fern Ridge Reservoir in Eugene, Oregon. The last image is of the bench I pass each lap of the track at the Lorane Elementary School’s sports field.
Oh, the stories they would tell, if benches could talk.
Under a Maple tree near the city park entrance,
sits a nondescript, weathered, plain old bench,
Hundreds have passed by and many to rest
Like mothers with toddlers tying up a loose lace,
Kissing scraped knees or wiping a face,
That old bench is a meeting place Tuesdays
for widows Mildred and Grace,
Who chat over lunch that they take turns to make,
discussing TV shows, world events,
pains and aches,
Then there are old Army pals Walter and Ray, who meet on Thursdays,
Checkers they’ll play,
while reminiscing about those former glory days
Who would know a simple bench with such a history
A place where love began or love has ended,
Then again sometimes where hearts are mended,
But to most it will only be
An old bench near the city park entrance.
The poet is Nancy Ellen, Crossland USA – reposted from VoicesNet.com. Ellen’s poem is also featured in her book Within These Branches: Poetry of Life and Nature, described as “A journey traveling through the diversity and beauty of nature, the author leads us further into the world’s unique people offering a glimpse of their challenges, hopes and dreams. Appealing to a wide range of readers from teenagers to seniors, the author creates sensitive, honest impressions that are easily relatable to the reader. Reflecting on all facets of life with candor, imagination and a bit of humor, the author’s goal is to present a view connecting the people of the world by a common thread of life uniting us all in compassion and understanding.”
Thank you to my friend Ben DeVries of Not One Sparrow for sharing this wonderful bench story and photos with us!
“This is one of my favorite benches, along my favorite stretch of trail along the Des Plaines river in northeast Illinois. It was dedicated sweetly by a couple who loved the same spot.”
If you would also like to share your bench story or poem, please share it with us using the comment field below.