The Bench

Several times a week, three old Indian men congregate on the bench across the street from my house.  They slowly stroll to the bench from their various homes, sit and chat in thick accents.  I wave hello to them and smile as I do yard work, but I have talked to them only a couple of times.  Yesterday, however, one of the gentlemen stopped me as I was putting a trashcan by the curb.  “The neighbors took away the bench,” he told me with surprise and disappointment.  Where would his friends and he meet now?

I happen to have a teak bench beneath a glorious old, beautifully-shaped maple tree in the middle of my yard.  I sit on the bench sometimes and write or think, enjoying the sunlight through the bare branches in winter and the shade of the leaves in summer.  However, I don’t use the bench often…not really…so I offered to reposition it to an area on my property across from where the gentlemen normally meet.  I wanted to give them a new place to sit and watch the passersby.  The man seemed very pleased.

After he left, I walked to the maple, picked up the bench, and moved it beneath another tree, a more convenient location for the men.  I am actually a little wistful about moving the bench from my favorite spot, but I could always bring a chair over there.  I’d like the men to have a place to meet, rest and talk.  It has always struck me as a lovely gathering of friends, something I hope to do still when I am old.

One thought on “The Bench

  1. I love this story. I’m a bit ashamed of your neighbors for that disappearing bench. (Maybe I’m wrong!) But you made it right. That community needed to continue.


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