A bench – such a simple piece of furniture and one we see dotted around our communities. But what does a bench mean to you – a place to rest, a place with a view, a place to stop and stare, a place to meet friends, a place to simply ‘be’? It can mean so much, and different things to so many.
A place to sit, contemplate and reflect on fond family memories, in a spot with lovely peaceful views over the canal to the fields beyond, where foxes, deer, and birds like the jay, heron and even pheasants add wonder, beauty, as they busy themselves and play!
That’s what our new bench at Brookside Grange means to our resident Fidelma and her family, which we were honoured to install in December. The pathway along the water is the perfect spot for a bench, somewhere that all in our community can enjoy. A peaceful place to meet others, chat and build upon the sense of community. A spot to ‘stand and stare’ and take the time to appreciate the wonderful nature on our doorstep. A place where children play, a place of happy sounds and silence!
Having grown up nearby, this is a special location for Fidelma and her family, and the ideal place to remember a loved one. Indeed adopted cat Baby Brook was the first to lie along the bench watching the birds! It is also wonderful to see the addition of many pretty bird boxes and feeders along the fence, attracting the smaller garden birds. The canal bank has been planted with an array of wildflowers, left unmown to ensure native wildlife can thrive, and enhancing biodiversity in the area.
So the next time you pass this, or any bench, take time to stop, sit, look around, think and relax. They have been placed for just that, and often as a memory to a friend who enjoyed doing just that, in that space. Benches are so much more than just a seat, they have the opportunity to enrich our lives and wellbeing while we sit!