Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Chair in the Window

I glanced to my left as I drove down highway 400 towards Aurora. The sky was palest, softest apricot, with milky swirls of white cloud.

I was on my way to pick up my black raincoat, left behind in my doctor's office last week. I went back for it on Friday, and I could see it hanging there through the frosted glass window in the door of the doctors office. Through the locked glass door of the office that closes early on Friday afternoon.

I was frustrated at the wasted drive. "Who closes early on Friday?" I thought to myself. Time is so precious and I hate wasting it.

So this is why I was on my way there early one morning this week and admiring the beauty of the sky.

As I drove down Yonge Street through Aurora, I passed a furniture store. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a chair that brought back a wave of memories. It was one of those 50s or 60s ultra-modern easy chairs. It had smooth, minimalist lines and wings that curved up in a swoop on either side of the back, and slim wooden tapered legs--Danish modern.

Instantly I was taken back to Holland during the 50s and 60s where my brother and I spent some of our happiest days on vacations with our mum. In that land across the North Sea from England where we lived, was Oma, uncles, aunts and many cousins.

The chair reminded me of "having time," of the delicious scent of coffee being ground for morning coffee, the fragrance of cigar smoke and endless rounds of visitors. Everyone had time to just sit and "be."

My own life right now, is lacking time. Too often I'm focused on things other than people, and while my life is packed with much interesting and engaging activity, I have a sense of missing something.

Often I'm sure that what I convey through words, body language and tone of voice is that I don't "have time."

And it isn't so much about time as a state of being.

What I want to do better at is giving myself to people more, not just on a schedule. To be able to shift my attention from what I'm doing to a person with kind attentiveness.

There are drivers who go down the road as if they haven't a minute to spare, weaving in and out of traffic. "Aggressive driving," it's called. Often all of this fretting and fuming doesn't really get the person that much further ahead in the long run--we often catch up with them down the road, and meanwhile they've missed the joy of the journey--like seeing an apricot and swirly white sky.

Could it be that way with me? Maybe I'm not really that much further ahead with all my busyness.

Part of my pressure is the fact that I'm getting ready to leave for three weeks in England. Once I board that plane tomorrow night, I will exchange one world for another--a busy north American work and home life, for English village life.

I'll be using my time there to think and write and "spend time" reflecting and visiting.

The chair in the window is beckoning me. Peace.

3 comments:

Susan said...

Too bad there's only one chair.

Sigh.

Remember The Friendly Giant? He always seemed to have enough chairs. He would pull one up to the fire with his great giant hand, and a rocking chair for those who like to rock, and one that's big enough for two to curl up in... Ah, yes, those were the days...

Dave Hingsburger said...

I too rush too much, rest too little and as such lose perspective about what we are here for, I know we all have missions but God gave us eyes to see beauty, ears to hear melody, buds to taste rasberries ... and yet we choose to look at the car ahead, listen to discord pour out of the radio and taste food made by machines ... odd we.

Belinda said...

Odd we indeed! But now I'm still, and it feels oddly good! :)
Love from far away!