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  • Jacqueline Le Sueur

Just 6 Weeks Less-Abled : S + 21 | A bench that is so much more than just bench.

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

This bench is at the end of my street. These past 5 days it has been my target to reach it today, halfway through my recovery and have a bit of a sit down. It is only 50-60m round trip from the back door and completely level so that is an acceptable distance ... as long as it is dry and there is no risk of me slipping.

I made it ... not once but twice, 3 hours and a lot of sunshine apart. It felt wonderful to sit there. A new vista, the odd car passing by and even a dog walker to say hello to.

When I went back the second time it was sunny. I hadn't intended to make two trips however I had been sitting in the sunshine the garden watching the antics of the birdies and I thought it would be good to go back to the bench to see if it, too, was in the sun. It was. I really enjoyed it. The trees are resplendent in their autumn finery at the moment. A delight for the eyes as getting out and expanding my horizons without putting my toe fusion at risk was a panacea for my mental health.

One of my neighbours who passed away recently used to walk up the road and sit on this bench. Always by himself. I'd always take the time to say hello however he was a reclusive soul and rarely replied but he would always make eye contact. I thought of him today as I sat there.

I really understand so much more now the importance of this bench. Of its location on the corner of the cul de sac I live in and the narrow road that passes through my village. It is so much more than a place to sit and take a rest. It is a place to see something more than the confines of your home if you are mobile enough to reach it - it is a goal and hence an achievement to reach it. It gives validation that way. It is a place where if you are fortunate someone passing by will say hello or wave at you from their car. It is where you can feel a part of the wider community and the world.

I've often sat on it however in truth it has never meant so much as it has today.

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