You know how certain objects (or maybe all of them) have a soul? How they call to you, give comfort, listen and ultimately share their lives with you or at least witness important—and incredibly insignificant—bits and pieces of yours? How they accompany you through the daily chores of living and the wordless moments of reflection? You know what I mean. I’m sure you have a story about a favorite cup (what could be more soulful than that?) or your first real fountain pen or the only bowl you can stand to eat cereal out of.
Here, I’d like to write a note of Thanksgiving to one of our most humble servants: the public bench. All those silent perches that sit patiently, obediently, waiting for us to place our bottoms on them as we ponder our next moves, check our grocery lists, or slip our hand into the hand of someone we love.