The Chair

ChairIILong, long ago, when faeries danced on fertile frond and leopards lay above their lairs, there was an old woodcarver. Deep in the forest he lived, among his friends and family – the chosen ones, four-footed and two. That tree with life he never touched, but waited patiently, lovingly, until Mother would gift him with just the first branch, just the right root, spirit gone on to dwell in another land, shell left behind for use of all its relations.

The trees loved him, they did, as he loved them, gentle his touch upon their boughs, soft his finger as it smoothed their wrinkled forms. The furred and feathered ones would come to watch his work, the creepers scurrying beneath, each eager to see the newest birth, the creation of something-yet-to-come. The finned ones waited patiently, brought the news by those who walked between the worlds, who saw and came and spoke in turn.

The old woodcarver told those who came to listen that he never planned what would take shape beneath his blade. Somehow, the forms seemed to come alive by themselves, as he whittled away the parts of don’t-belong. He was as surprised as any at what was often revealed, the design that wafted through the air, taking shape around, beneath, within the tools he lovingly bore.

And when he wasn’t carving, he sat, cradled upon a special creation, a gift from an ancient elm that had long watched his labors, then graciously gifted him with just the right pieces upon which he might rest his wearied frame after long hours of bending to and fro. A lifetime of afternoons he spent in the coolness of the shadows beneath his friends, watching time come and go, life flow and ebb, cycles upon cycles. So much he saw, though of little did he speak. It all sat, deep within, deep within, deep within, revealed only through the touch of his hand, until one day he was no more, and the chair was left to sit alone, waiting to share its gift with some future seeker of solitude.

So if ever you should happen upon a special place with special chair, standing there like it was just waiting for you, deep within the woods of your own mind or a wilderness full of wonder, stop a moment, and remember the woodcarver. Sit down, and just for a time, watch with him – the coming, the going. Turn – there – that flash of scarlet – his favorite – the magical cardinal with all her splendor… behind, from the corner of his eye, that softness melting into the shadows – a doe and her fawn, come to pay homage to the one who was their friend…

Sit for a moment. And remember. And walk that way again, if you should ever feel the desire – the chair will always be there, just waiting, settling lower and lower among the mosses… calling your name… softly, sweetly, a gentle siren to share the treasure of a moment in silence, in shadows, among the trees…




© 2012 Mary Batson,
All rights reserved, including the one to stop and pause a moment on this chair, if ever I should find it. Or, if it’s wrapped in poison ivy, to just keep on walkin’.


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