Saturday, June 22, 2013

if we move the chairs....

A couple of weeks ago, my husband moved two chairs from our back yard to our front yard. There is nothing special about these two chairs- adirondack style, of heavy plastic. Yet, they have the essentials: arm rests for cocktails, and bright, striped cushions that add pizazz and comfort to just ordinary.

We now enjoy sitting outside in the evenings and looking at our world from a different vantage point. It's a quiet street overall, and the setting sun, just over the neighbor's house, adds a blood orange and crimson palette to our sundowns. All of our trees need trimming, but I love the sound of the breeze through thick branches, and the rustle of leaves overhead. Like the rise and fall of the ocean's tides, it immediately calms.

Sometimes sitting together inside the house can be weighted with "shoulds" and "dos." Sitting outside is a welcome change and encourages conversation that isn't based on our upcoming schedules, parenting dilemmas, and what we owe to the orthodontist this month.

It's gotten me thinking about how the simple act of moving furniture and looking out at your own orbit with a different vista can change your world perspective...instantly. The backyard is fine and offers more privacy, but the front yard offers a view of the lush olive trees on our street, the beautiful roses in a neighbor's garden and a perch under our gargantuan camphor tree that must be close to 100 years old.

 Soon after the two chairs were ensconced in our front yard, we decided we needed something to thwart the insects that appeared at dusk and looked to us for nourishment. My husband returned one day with Tiki torches. Not just any Tiki torches, but ornate ones. They now flank the two chairs. So, we sit in our thrones, flaming torches beside us, clanking our whiskey cups... and, life is good.

Frequently couples will walk by and I wonder about their lives together. Do they have children? Do they still connect? Has it been with lots of ups and downs to arrive at this moment on an evening walk together down a neighbor's street? Or, have they been unscathed by life? Then I remember that none of us have that freedom to be untouched. We all become bruised and battered, and then, if we're lucky, can rise back up to shimmer in the glow of having come through battle together.

Until recently, I hadn't realized how exhausted I had become by the inertia of remaining the same. How powerful it can be to try on some new things. I am ready to shake it up, challenge myself, and try a renascence. It's good to stretch and pull a little against your edges. We can change our lives, and shift into new rhythms, if we move the chairs....

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  1. I was very sad when the neighbors on the corner moved--we spent so many early evenings with cocktails in hand on their front porch. It is a different feeling than the backyard.

  2. I love the literal, but also the symbolism involved here, with the two chairs. It is amazing how such small changes can bring such joy. Sometimes we fight change and sometimes we crave it. Beautiful writing, as always, my friend.


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