Spring is in full swing! Flowers and plants dot once barren landscapes. Leaves adorn the outstretched branches of trees. The sun shines longer and brighter each day. Oh, and here in Kentucky, pollen blankets everything. These are all the usual signs that spring has sprung, with the exception of one thing this year.
As I drive along a gorgeous stretch of winding road that leads me home, I am greeted by a familiar scene. Atop of a small hill, overlooking an open field of luscious green grass, I spot them. They sit side-by-side under the protective canopy of a very large tree. Every spring they return to this same beautiful spot, where they rest peacefully in the shade. They gaze out over the scene before them, until winter arrives, and then, they disappear until spring returns.
Seeing the two of them signals that spring has arrived, and they always bring a smile to my face. This year, though, my smile faded when I noticed that something was different. The two deep red Adirondack chairs that herald the arrival of spring were no longer standing guard at the top of the hill. The two had become one.
As soon as I noticed that only one red Adirondack chair was in place, immediately, my eyes scanned the area, searching for its mate. The second chair was nowhere to be found, though. As spring commences, the second chair still has not returned. It’s funny how this small change in scenery has caught my attention in a big way, but it has.
I do not have a fascination with Adirondack chairs or furniture in general, and I also am not exactly detail oriented. I am that person who marvels at a new business on my usual route about town, only to learn that it has been in existence for several years. It is not about the actual chairs. It is about the people who sit in the chairs and what those chairs have come to symbolize for me.
In all of the years that I have driven past these chairs, not once have I ever seen anyone sitting in them. They only have ever been occupied in my mind. I have imagined an older couple sitting in those chairs together in a variety of scenarios. Sometimes, they are enjoying their morning tea or coffee, as they look out over dew glistening in the first light of the day, as a light fog covers the field. Other times, they are taking in a sunset together and watching day fade into night while holding hands.
I have pictured them being comfortable enough to sit in silence with one another and yet still having plenty to talk about in and out of those chairs, even after years of conversations with each other. There is an easy give and take between them, and these two Adirondack chairs are where they sometimes begin and end their day together. It is a beautiful image, and this fictional couple represents the kind of loving and genuine relationship that I cherish. Now, that image has changed, perhaps forever.
Maybe, the second chair was in need of repair, and it will rejoin the other chair soon, better than ever. Maybe, though, it was damaged beyond repair and retired for good. Maybe, the person who occupied it no longer can sit in it alongside the other one, due to illness, divorce, or death. I probably will never know the occupants of these chairs or the reason that there now is only one chair, but I do know that they have their own story to tell, just as we all do.
Although, I feel a bit of sadness that only one chair remains, I still have a sense of joy when I think of those chairs side-by-side and the images of the people I imagined sitting in them. It reminds me that the grandest adventures do not always involve traveling to exotic places. Sometimes, they can be found in your own backyard in an Adirondack chair with a loved one by your side or in the pleasure of your own company.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story