In my garden under a tall tree you will find an old, worn bench that is not very pretty at all. Many people ask me why I bother to keep something so unattractive. "There are so many beautiful garden furniture you can buy now. Have you seen those white painted benches?" People mean well, but they don't realize that what they look upon as trash can be someone's treasure. And this bench is my treasure.
I grew up in a very large old house with a beautiful big garden. It could have been a paradise for kids, but since I was an only child I always felt very lonely. I would spend my days playing by myself. When I turned four my parents hired a nanny that was going to take care of me while they worked. She was old - really, really old. She was heavyset, had a bad hip and thin yellowish white hair that she would wear in a roll at the back of her head. Her name was Dadda (of course this wasn't her real name, but it was the only one I ever knew). I thought she was terrible at first. But after a while we became friends. Every day she would make us a picnic-basket and we would walk hand in hand down to an old bench that was placed in between some large trees. There we would sit and she would tell me wonderful stories that brought my imagination to places I had never been. She would make my favorite sandwiches and always bring a treat. She taught me the names of different flowers and sometimes she would read to me. I learned to love those hours spent with her on the bench. As I grew older less time was spent on the bench and one day Dadda was gone. And the bench was left there, all by itself down by the old trees. I didn't have time for fairytales anymore, and I forgot all about the bench.
The day came when my dad had sold the house. Everything was packed into boxes and as I walked up the driveway I saw someone about to throw an old grey bench into a large container. Suddenly I realized that it was MY bench, the one I spent countless hours on as a child. I wanted that bench! For me it symbolized my childhood memories, fairytales and an unlikely frienship that made a lonely little girl just a little bit less lonely.
The bench is now placed under a large birch tree in my garden. It is tattered and worn, very little stylish and most people would throw it away. But for me it is a treasure and I tell my kids the story.
Maybe you have a similar treasure?