Eric’s making a bench.
A few weeks ago, after he cleared weeds and used his new chainsaw to trim trees, I mentioned, “Now, I need a bench.”
That’s all I said. It was a seed of suggestion about the size of an ‘ōhi’a seed—no larger than a single human eyelash. It was not the seed of suggestion the size of a coconut palm tree. When those fall, they hurt. Over 30 years of marriage, I’ve found the smaller seeds of suggestions work better with Eric.
The other day while walking Lulu on the beach, I saw some driftwood someone had collected and woven together with the thick fishing line that washes ashore as marine debris. I mentioned that it was a cool look for some yard art. “Driftwood could also work for a bench,” I added.
“We have wood for a bench,” Eric said. He’d been thinking about using some old six-by-six-inch posts, leftover from the building of the house 15 years ago. “But it will be heavy,” he said.
Good. A bench should be solid. You don’t want to feel wobbly when sitting on a bench drinking tea and sipping from books of poetry. Poetry can be distracting. A good poem can transport you, take you from the physical world to the world of the imagination, and you don’t want to forget to sit just right on the beach and accidentally tip over.
A bench should be sturdy, so you don’t lose your balance while peering at the white-rumped shame fledgling through your binoculars.
A bench should provide the stationary balance necessary so the low-light, slow-shutter images of the skittish pheasant who zips across the yard when he hears the click of your camera’s shutter aren’t blurry.
Yes, a bench should be heavy.
“It will be weathered,” Eric added. The wood had been sitting outside in rain and sun for 15 years. Various insects had made homes in it.
The sun dropped over the mountain across the street a while ago, and I can still hear the sander running outside.
“Perfect,” I said. A bench among trees shouldn’t be highly polished. It should blend in with the trees, blend in with nature. It should look a bit like the tree it once was. “I just don’t want to get a splinter in my ass.”
Our statewide total inched upward by two to 639. As beaches re-opened on Oahu, over 250 people were rescued by ocean safety personnel.