Benches and blackbirds

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 10:13 AM


The large black dog stands up on his hind legs, puts his front paws on the water fountain, and promptly begins to drink. I laugh a bit to myself from my park bench, my new refuge. Park benches are the perfect place for me to retreat whenever I feel overwhelmed.

For example, after the bank informed me that I wouldn't be able to get cash from my newly opened account until Monday - leaving me with 20 euros for a week* - I practically ran to the park.

I'm not sure what it is about the benches, maybe it's just in the simple act of sitting and watching, but they make me feel secure and rooted. And they provide a perfect vantage point from which I can glimpse quick vignettes into other lives.

A couple walks their child down the path with slight frowns affixed firmly to their faces. Not a word or a look passes between them. They just keep pushing the posh baby carriage with it's pink parasol attachment. I glance between them and the soft young mother who sits with me on the bench. She constantly coos and chats with her small baby.

I look up at the couple and to the right at the mother. She seems to fit the role better. The others form a triangle of discontent.

The sound of bells break my thoughts. I think I'm in Chapel Hill for a moment.** I glance at the statues with a start and realize that I am in Spain. That's strange. Very strange.

I pick up my pen to write. "...And I think, Okay, I've learned my lesson. Now let me come home. But I can't. And I won't."

I breathe in a full breath and once more close my eyes to feel the solidness of the bench under me.

Lifting myself up, I plug my headphones into my ears. The Beatles'*** "Blackbird" comes on. I start to walk and have to pull my notebook back out. I feel distinctly that they are singing about me.****

The song echos, "All your life; you were only waiting for this moment to arise." I laugh at myself a bit for my sentimentality, jot down the moment, and play the song again.

Which will be fine. I just have to hold off on big purchases like a notebook and a new carribeaner and a harness. And closely monitor my going-out adventures.
**Chapel Hill, who I couldn't wait to leave. Now I realize how good you are to me.
***The Beatles are my new soundtrack right now. Many thanks to those of you who enhanced my Beatles collection (and affinity for their music) before I left.
****Don't you love when that happens?

Comments (2)

I thought it was "for this moment to arrive." Hmmm...gotta listen to it again. Been awhile. And what lesson was it you thought you were learning? ANd how do I sign up for notification that you have posted? I thought I saw it somewhere and now can't. Love hearing your thoughts and musings.

Pro Tip: Bouldering requires neither harness nor carabiner. No money? No Problem! It sounds like you are coping with a new country the same way I did in Singapore (and pretty much every 6 months when I move)... MUSIC! Just say the word and reinforcements will be on way.

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