It’s always as the weather cools down that I think about my chair, remembering how it noticed me, wandering around the furniture section of a large department store, waiting for me patiently, knowing that it would only be a matter of time until I swooped upon it and declared my undying love for its fabric, colour, style and form.
But the story of the love for my chair didn’t begin that day; it goes back many, many years.
The month was May, I had just become an auntie for the second time and I had also just celebrated my ninth birthday. The only home I remembered living in during my few short years on this earth had been sold, a brand new house was in the process of being built. I was soon to start attending a new school.
So many changes were taking place, changes that my heart resisted, yet changes I had absolutely no control over. I simply had to put all of my faith into my parents, believing that their decision to make so many changes in my life would turn out for the best, that I would be happy at my new school, and living in my new home.
Meanwhile, as we awaited the building of our new home, we would be living at a fully furnished rental property, not far from the home we had just left, and I continued to go to my old school.
From the very first moment that I walked through the front gate of the rental property, I fell in love with that home. The house was old, the front garden was filled with flowers, and even the front door welcomed me.
On the other side of the most inviting front door I had ever had the pleasure of walking through was the most heart-warming room I had ever entered, with a fireplace in one corner, lace curtains at the windows and a solid three-piece lounge suite surrounding the fireplace.
I felt blissfully happy in this room! At night, while the burning wood crackled away in the fireplace, warming the room as it warmed my heart, my cat would be curled up asleep on the mat in front of the fireplace and I would curl up in one of the single-seater lounge chairs, legs curled up beside me, rug over my knees, reading my “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” mystery stories, or working on my latest craft project, which always involved knitting something.
Oh how I wished I could take that lounge suite with us when we had to leave this wonderful old home! But of course, I couldn’t, it didn’t belong to me, (besides which, my mother detested that “horrible old furniture”!) But this chair comforted me, when my whole world was changing.
Throughout my entire adult life, when shopping for any lounge room furniture, my memory would travel back in time to my old lounge chair as I tried to find it again.
In the late 1980’s I did come close to recreating my ideal “sofa situation”, when a rose covered sofa bed discovered me. Of course, I took it home, how could I not? But it just wasn’t quite my favourite sofa, reincarnate. I’ve since had the sofa recovered and it remains a favourite.
In my mind, my decision had already been made, I simply wouldn’t purchase another lounge chair ever again, until my chair-of-perfection, the reincarnation of my old childhood favourite chair, found me, until I found it again.
On the day that my chair did find me however, it had been promised to another, but regardless, my heart was brimming with joy over knowing it existed! Immediately upon sitting in my chair, which wasn’t mine, in the large department store that day, I spoke to the sales woman and wouldn’t you know it, as I told her of my life-long search for this chair, how I imagined sitting my coffee cup on the chair’s wide arm, legs curled up beside me, reading my book or working on my latest knitting project, the sales women told me how she would sit in this chair herself whenever the opportunity to do so arose. During quiet moments throughout her work day, when she had any paperwork to complete, it was this very chair that she chose to relax in.
She invited me to take off my shoes and curl my legs up beside me, just to try out the total “feel” of the chair and I told her that I simply could not do that, as this chair belonged to another and I couldn’t soil their new chair by sitting in it that way.
You may be thinking by now that I could have easily just ordered one of these chairs, seeing as I loved it so much, and you would be right in assuming this could be done, however….the cost of my chair was the equivalent to a king’s ransom! And being a display chair, the chair already promised to another was being sold at a seventy-five percent discount!
I left the store that day, telling the sales woman, who now felt like an old friend, that I hoped the chair’s new owners enjoyed many happy years with their new purchase, and I would save up to buy one of my own.
The next morning, it occurred to me that perhaps another chair could be located in another store, at the same heavily discounted price, so I phoned the store and asked to speak to the sales woman from the day before, knowing she would remember me. She wasn’t there.
I told the woman on the other end of the telephone how I longed for that chair, yet couldn’t justify paying the full price, no matter how much I longed for it. She immediately recognised me from having spoken to the other sales lady the day before, and agreed that she would phone around to other stores during the day, in search of another chair. I left my name and phone number with her and we said goodbye.
Within less than an hour, she had phoned me. She has some news for me. She hadn’t had the opportunity to phone any other stores as yet, however she had received a phone call, and from those who my chair was promised to ~ they had decided not to take it!
My heart leapt and I did a happy-dance around my room, my chair really was mine, it wanted me as much as I wanted it!! I could collect my chair that day (no, said I, delivery won’t be necessary, my husband owns a ute, he will collect it immediately!) and not only that, that same day, a matching chair was located in another store and I would receive it within a few days also!
The warmth of spirit that came to me through my chair that day remains to this day. Every member of my family has taken their turn in trying to “steal” my chair from me, but I will not allow it! It is only on days that someone is feeling sad or unwell, that I will share my chair with them, knowing the comfort that it brings. Even my cats love my chair and I am sure that they too feel the comforting aura of this special piece of furniture.
The weather is cooling down now, it is autumn, the same season as it was more-years-than-I-care-to-remember ago, and I spend my nights again curled up in my chair, blanket over my knees, coffee on the arm of the chair, books and knitting project at hand, enjoying the chair whose spirit finally found my own.