Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Late July is a favorite time. I can back it up a bit and say all of spring and summertime fit this category. Late July, however, has an unrushed quality that is especially alluring. It's simply a beautiful time of steadiness and fullness in nature. I like that.

Al and I have been out enjoying the fine warm days and things to do. The other day we were at a coffee shop near one of the city lakes. Within sight of us, across the park boulevard, was a ball field, backstop and bench.

"That's a great summer scene," I commented, pointing particularly to the bench. I'm always on the lookout for benches.

The plentiful placement of benches in any given location practically guarantees a welcoming spot. Benches invite. They graciously permit you to sit and rest and enjoy - and please take all the time you want, they seem to urge. My approval for any park goes up whenever a generous sprinkling of benches is part of its plan.

My husband surveyed the ball field. He had a doubtful expression. He was trying to ascertain what I was talking about. He's learned my idea of things can differ from his.

"It would be a summer scene if someone was playing baseball. It's empty" - added as if he thought I might have missed that key element. "If someone was actually playing ball, then you'd have a summer scene. The ball players are missing."

His lack of agreement was no surprise. He and I can sum up, in dissimilar terms, the reality we see.

"It's empty but it's still a summer scene." I held to my position. "The bench is just waiting for someone to come along and use it. The place being empty doesn't make it any less a summer scene."

We lingered long enough that we were able to watch a young man in long-sleeve dress shirt (from some nearby office no doubt) go into the coffee shop and come out again. He carried his purchase, a prepared sandwich, which obviously was his choice for lunch.

He crossed the road to the shady green space bordering the lake.
"He's going to the bench to eat it," I guessed.

Al had an alternate destination for the young man. "He's going to eat the sandwich by the lake," he said.

The fellow did seem to have the lake in mind. He wasn't angling close enough to be making towards the bench. It was disappointing when I felt so certain the bench is where he would go. I gave Al his due - he appeared to have plotted the course correctly.

Perhaps the hungry office worker had a change of mind. All of a sudden he
slowed, did a kind of half-turn and proceeded to the bench, seating himself squarely upon it in the midday sun.

The bench received the occupant as if patiently expecting him. The summer scene, in all details, made a pleasing impression as we got up to leave.

Ro Giencke - July 26, 2011

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