Have a Seat

gardenchairA while back a good friend from one town over stopped by and we got talking. Our discussion drifted to the 60s. Not the decade The Beatles burst onto the music scene, but the decade of life we were both flirting with.

My buddy said he’d noticed that when he walked into a room or any new situation, he immediately started looking for someplace to sit down, or an object (such as a pickup box) to lean on. I told him I was having similar feelings about the pull of gravity. We’ve both lived active lives and are both finding that perhaps the “old timers,” as we used to call them, maybe had it right when they’d sink onto a seat before they started talking.

While I was sitting in my chair the other day, I got thinking about the circle of life. When you’re born, you’re pretty glued to the surface of the earth. Once a baby gains a few years, though, the grind of the earth’s pull is countered by responsive muscles and functional joints. This lasted a good long while for me, and I’m grateful for every productive unpainful step I’ve taken. But then gravity starts to reassert its influence, and chair-seeking behavior begins.

When I was young, I was completely baffled by the adult behavior of “visiting.” Adults seemed content to just sit and talk by the hour. All the while the sun was shining, puddles of water were ripe for exploration, trees to be climbed, and we were stuck inside talking. Since the 60s, I’m starting to see the appeal of finding an interesting person, sitting, and gabbing. Time just seems to melt away.

Another neighbor and good friend, who is a bit further advanced into the 60s than I am, gave me a thoughtful gift a few years back. Apparently I wasn’t ready for it at that time, because it languished unused in my garage for some years. The other day I had some clods of sod dug out in the corner of the greenhouse that needed to be shook. I looked at those clods, and the thought of kneeling in the dirt for the necessary half hour while I shook out the dirt seemed like a pretty big hill to climb. Then I remembered my cushioned plastic pail seat, and immediately stopped what I was doing, retrieved it from the garage, straddled it in the middle of the clod pile, and spent some enjoyable time making dirt fly all around me.

I haven’t quite reached the point where I carry my chair along with me as some “old-timers” do, but I can see that day coming. Let it come.

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