I walked by this chair I don’t know how many times. Not paying it much attention, if any at all. Then my uncle made it valuable. His great grandfather made it. By hand. My great great grandfather. It’s likely pushing 200 years old. It’s a solid little chair. Nothing fancy. And not very big.
It’s painted brown. But I can look past that. I can turn it over and see the plain wood. And I can see almost 200 years of nicks and scratches. I can see the hands that carved out the spindles. Smoothed out the wood. Shaped and pieced together a sturdy little piece of furniture.
But I can see past even that.
And imagine the homes it has sat in. And the persons who have sat in it. My great great grandfather? My great great grandmother? Their children. Their children. Their children. Friends and other relatives.
How many discussions were had or heard while sitting in this chair? This chair existed in family homes when the family homes did not have electric. Or bathrooms. No telephones. How many sighs escaped the seated. How many deep chuckles rumbled. How many secrets heard. Were meals eaten while sitting here? How many times were weary feet released from work boots. How many moments where elbows rested on knees and breaths escaped. Or prayers silently prayed.
And beyond this.
If I stand behind the chair.
Can I feel, absorb, imagine the history of my family. As they sat through the years. As this chair sat through their lives.
I won’t walk by this chair ever again. Without touching it. Hoping to feel all of the lives that have touched it before me.
This valuable, valuable, chair.