A Sense of Spirit · remembering · spirituality

A Chair to Remember.

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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.

Not quite the chair I was searching for, but almost.
Not quite the chair I was searching for, but almost.

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.

Just the place for a coffee cup.
Just the place for a coffee cup.

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!

All the neccessities, close at hand.
All the necessities, close at hand.

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.

Two yeras ago I went back to look at the old home, where I had found my chair. It isn't how I remember it now, having been modernised over the years and the old front gate is gone, but the legacy of so many aspects live on today in my own home.
Two years ago I went back to look at the old home, where I had found my chair. It isn’t how I remember it now, having been modernised over the years and the old front gate is gone, but the legacy of so many aspects of this home live on today in my home.
A Sense of Spirit · remembering · spirituality · unbreakable bonds

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

1985

“Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I’ll say good night until tonight becomes tomorrow.” ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

The house appeared to us late one afternoon in August. To this day, I believe we did not find the house, the house already knew us, and was waiting for us to locate it. We were destined to live here.

It wasn’t until the next day that we entered the property, climbed the two stairs up onto the front veranda, walked through the front door and felt the welcoming embrace of the essence of the building. We were home.

This house was not simply bricks and mortar, this house was our home, and our home had a soul, and the soul of the home protected us, nurtured us and guided us along the path that our lives would take throughout the next nine years.

When I look back on those years, I lived in abundant happiness, every day.  Perhaps they were the happiest years of my life. In many ways I believe they were, even through the occasional time of sadness, yet with hindsight, as I reflect on those sad times, they were really only sad moments, times when there was a lesson to be learned and some growing to be done.

Everything happens for a reason, even the sadness we experience in our lives. And all of the sadness I felt whilst living in this home was preceded by extreme happiness.

I learned how to grow up during my years of living here. There were lessons to learn. Friendships were formed, and lost. Pets shared our home with us, and some were lost to us. Devastating news was received. A monetary fortune was earned. And throughout every event which took place during those nine years there remained an overwhelming sense of joy, and gratitude, love and happiness.

There were always friends at the house, parties and children.
There were always friends at the house, parties and children.

My two eldest children were born whilst we lived here. Our home held many parties and with every new visitor to our home, there became one constant theme, that our home felt inviting and welcoming. Our home loved and needed our presence, just as it welcomed the arrival of our friends, family and our children.

Shiny, happy people....
Shiny, happy people….

When the year of 1992 began, everything changed. A subtle shift could be felt, a shift which I initially rejected. I felt afraid.

The most devastating news imaginable reached me from afar. That very same week, I discovered that my third child was on her way. There were changes taking place also with the means to our fortune, the income would soon dwindle. Work situations were changing…..

Change was in the air, in every aspect of our lives…..

Our beloved home knew that the time had arrived for us to prepare to leave.

I have one extremely vivid memory of this time of change, of a day when I was at home, alone. Of a day when I felt the walls of my home gently speaking to me, telling me to let go. I wanted to hug my home and never let go, yet all I could manage to do was lean against the wall, and cry and cry. I realised that I must heed the signs, and stop fighting. I had to listen, I had to let go.

Our 15 year old German Shepherd didn't make the trip with us. We moved just over three months after this photo was taken.
Our 15 year old German Shepherd didn’t make the trip with us. We moved just over three months after this photo was taken.

That was the day I faced reality. I cried my heart out for my impending losses. My fear of losing a loved one, which would ultimately take me away from my home. The loss of all of the wonderful friends I had made whilst living here. The loss of this suburb, this city where my home was located. The loss of my beloved home.

Over twenty years have passed by since I left that home, yet my eyes are welling with tears as I recall leaving there, although even then, I knew it had to be.

A force far greater than anything I had ever experienced in my life, and far greater than anything I have since felt, had come into play. I had no control. I knew that I had to leave.

Methodically, I packed up my home. Progressively, the life I had been living for the previous fifteen years in this city of magic was neatly packed away into what seemed to be hundreds of boxes. Where had all of these possessions come from? I had arrived in this city, in 1977, owning just a few possessions. They had fit into the boot of a car.

For one whole day, late in the month of September, I watched as the removal truck became packed to the rafters with my life. My belongings, my memories….

I stood at the front door of my home as evening approached, watching the removal tuck back out of my driveway and headed away along the street; watching as my life drove away, fifteen years all neatly sorted and packed away in taped up boxes, knowing it would never be the same again, knowing that I would be leaving also within just a few short hours, seven months pregnant, knowing that tomorrow night I would be a thousand kilometres away from here. I would never live in this home again.

And I cried like I have never cried before, or since. My heart broke that day.

Yet for all of the pain I felt when I knew I must leave my home, I wouldn’t change a thing. I couldn’t change a thing. The good far outweighed the bad, the positive outweighed the negative. To live nine years of contentment and love was definitely worth the sadness of leaving.

Can a building possess you for a period of your life? And when the time has arrived for this building to push you out of the nest, sending you out into the big wide world, never to return to its warm folds again, can it really do this?

And can a geographical location, a city, and the surrounding area hold possession over your heart?

I know it can. For nine years I had been carried along on the tide of my life, a life which was overseen by the home in which I lived. They were happy years, precious years, years that I will always remember vividly and treasure forever.

The time had come to move on, yet after twenty years of being away, this city in which I once lived still holds a piece of my heart. It always will.

“The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before. It always leads me here
Leads me to your door. “ ~ Lennon /McCartney.

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