Taking a seat

The bench


If Spencer had a quarter for every time I remarked that a bench “looks like a great place to read,” we’d be sailing the Mediterranean and sipping martinis on our private yacht right about now.

(Eh, I guess that would be all right.)

Benches have . . . some sort of magnetic pull on me. That’s a really odd statement, I realize, but here I am: the queen of odd statements. I think it’s the realization that, in my fast-paced and frenetic life, I gaze upon these inviting seats but never actually make time to sit in them.

Does that make sense?

I see a bench and think, That looks like a great place to rest.

And then I keep walking, because I’m on a schedule. On deadline. On a time crunch.

The last time I probably sat on a bench? December 16, 2012. When I sat on that bench at top — when Spencer proposed.

And I didn’t want to get up.

Instead of resting my laurels, I find myself photographing benches. I’ve taken shots of fancy seats from Washington to San Francisco and back again, even documenting furniture in Ireland and Scotland. Until recently, I wasn’t consciously taking shots of benches . . . they’re just structures that naturally catch my attention. But now that I’ve picked up on my recent bench lust, I can’t unsee it.


Lighthouse and bench

Benches in Edinburgh

Blossoms and bench


Though we’re far from a time when New Year’s resolutions are chosen and proclaimed, I try to realize when I need to change . . . and do something about it. As the pace of wedding planning increases, my workload jumps and my energy levels deplete even further, I’m vowing to take time in every new destination — as often as possible — to find a vacant seat and plant myself in it.

One of my happiest recent memories was of sitting on a bench in Battery Park. Spencer and I were just starting our day of walking around New York City and weren’t even tired, but the blue skies and people-watching opportunities from a bench within view of the Statue of Liberty were too much to resist.

We sat for a half hour, maybe longer, just holding hands and looking at the water. I took a few pictures, but nothing major. Mostly we were just . . . being.


Bench in Battery Park


Maybe that sounds hippy-dippy. But I’d like to simply be a lot more often.


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15 thoughts on “Taking a seat

  1. Girl, does that mean you’re going to get a bench for your wedding that everyone can sign and it’ll be your guestbook?

    Because I want to do that but have NO place to put a bench.

    Although I stress when they sign outdoor benches because CLEARLY the signatures will bleach out in the sun. Needs to be an indoor-ish bench.

    Ok, so that’s not really what your post was about… but I couldn’t help making the leap.

    • Um, I really LOVE that idea. And for all the wedding-related chaos I’ve had going on in my brain, how did it not occur to me? You’re right, though: would have to be an indoor bench. Or seat. Or something. The wheels are turning . . .

  2. We should all do that more often. We recently went to dinner with friends. Afterward, we all went for a stroll and then sat on a bench and chatted and enjoyed the scenery – it was so much fun!

  3. I love it! I have a similar love/fascination with benches and I don’t know that I’ve ever spoken it aloud or committed it to paper. But I do! I love them. The quiet moments they invite. So awesome. Love this post.

  4. I’m not actually much of a bench-sitter. My husband and daughter are though. It’s not that I don’t have time, they just don’t call to me. They never look quite comfortable.

  5. Those little breaks are soooo good for the soul. I love popping a squat with Baby Whimsy and just enjoying the sun and breeze.

  6. I love your post! Telling a story around a bench is not as simple as it sounds, it’s engaging from the opening to the end.
    “Write Meg!”‘and keep being! Find a bench if you please.

  7. Yes, we all need to take a step back and take the time “to smell the daisies” – While we are sitting on a bench, that is – My son designed a swinging bench to hang underneath an arbor of flowers and then also hung nearby under the arbor a hammock – I like to take the time to sit on that hanging bench (swing) with my grandchildren and, when I am not there, I dream of it

  8. I have to agree, especially after looking at your photo by the river, that they make good subjects. There’s a sort of nostalgic quality to them. Just ‘being’ is lovely, though it’s interesting that often it’s our own sense of busyness rather than the world itself that stops us.

  9. Here in NYC, I often remark, “That bench looks like a great place to read…but I don’t wanna wake up the homeless guy and ask him to slide over.”

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