Benches

The streets in Frederick are quiet during these stay home/stay healthy days. As I normally walk early, quiet streets are just par for the regular course.

But benches, oh, the benches — they call to me. For a photo? For a foreground to spring blooms that are really the show? Or am I curious about doing something tinged with the thinnest salty rim of forbidden: sitting down in public. This bench basked in the earliest morning sun, just after the light cleared the horizon. I imagined sitting there, enveloped by the light from top to bottom, back to front.

Then thought the better of it. For who would like to wake up on a Monday with a stranger sitting directly in front of their house (or across the street, or next door)?

It’s not my natural inclination to sit on benches in the park or along the creek. Walks are single purpose: get out and get back. I’ll glance around, maybe look a little more closely at a reflection, pay attention to safety, check the minute changes to the scenery and save images to my phone for later use.

Sitting, lingering in a spot to gaze off into the middle distance is reserved for the beach, never for home. Home is the place to pay homage to the schedule, the beach is the place to shed it. Yet, in this stay-home time, schedule feels like a frivolous word. Oh, I make up one in the morning, follow along a bit haphazardly through the day, dancing along to the faint tune in the back of my head “why does it matter, tomorrow will be the same.”

I go out for walks — shortened to respect the demand to stay home — and feel tempted to pause, to sit. Even as I know when the stay home time is lifted, I’ll be more inclined to visit friends, walk with them, sit in their homes or places of business in communion with the relief of being out. Being about.

For now though, the benches call out a siren song to pause. I hope I’m still listening when the time comes to sit down and look around.

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