Old Wooden Chair

Paying $8 for the child-size rocking chair at Restore in Edenton, N.C., I had grand plans.

Opening a Prayer Booth (named because I pray blessings over it and the people who will buy my products) at Lazy Daisy in Yorktown, I envisioned a refinished chair so beautiful people lined up to purchase it.

But alas, my vision never came to fruition. Instead, the chair sat in our garage. First tucked under a folding six-foot table, protected by a tarp, then moving to other locations within the four walls.

After accidentally spray painting our neighbor’s car with white paint, Ron decided I needed a better paint station, finding a portable paint tent for me. Putting away the foldable table gave the old chair room to breathe and a new location stacked at the top of other unused items.

Toppling off a stack of Christmas boxes, causing the seat to break off, the rocking chair found its final resting place in our home. Hung from a hook in the garage, broken seat balanced precariously on it, never to move again.

Ron’s installation of solar panels on our garage roof meant we needed room. Admitting defeat, I took the chair to Goodwill in Newport News, donating it again. Scraping off the $8 price tag before placing the rocker in my car, I began wondering about its origin.

Who donated the chair last? What caused them to get rid of it? What stories would the wood tell if it could talk?

Visions of young children fighting over who got to sit in the chair popped into my mind. Worried mothers pacing the floor in the dead of night, walking back and forth past the rocker as they prayed fervently for whatever crisis to pass, the chair capturing every step. Or toddlers becoming children becoming teenagers, becoming adults as the small seat became forgotten, sitting in a corner, no one noticing its presence. Until one day, someone decided to donate the old chair, beginning a new chapter.

And now another one begins as the rocker finds its way to a new home via Goodwill. Who will buy it? What will they do with it? What stories will unfold?

Only the chair knows, and only the chair ever will.

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