The following essay was written last year when our family was living in a small town in Vermont. We’d just moved there, and I discovered the glory of the rural Vermont yard sale. These words are the musings I wrote after buying a rocking chair from a neighbor.
I bought a rocking chair from a woman named Faith.
On the side of a Vermont mountain road, she was holding a yard sale.
My son and I looked quietly through her things, piled on tables and chairs:
a bin of crocheted doilies,
a stuffed animal leopard,
stories piled on stories.
“I just want that chair to go to a good home,” she said.
I gently pulled it out of the back of the Subaru, noticing the Made in Massachusetts stamp on the bottom of the seat.
I wondered where Faith bought it, what thoughts came to her as she rocked, who else sat here, looking out a familiar window at the season’s changing landscape.
I put the chair on the right side of our front porch to give comfort to a naked corner.
We’ve just moved to Vermont, slowing gathering up the pieces of furniture we need to make a home.
A neighbor brought by a jar of zinnias, grown by their 4 year old, Anna, in her own garden bed.
I place them on the small table by the rocking chair, letting their beauty bring me peace.
I rock and wonder what it means to live a good life.
I rock and my partner Travis takes the kayak to the river— I say goodbye and continue rocking.
I rock and read a book on burnout, rocking and wondering how to maintain that peace.
The mountain air is slowing beckoning us out of summer and into fall, I can feel it. I let the wind dictate my rhythm as it slowly blows across the porch, across me.
There are differences between my story and Faith’s story.
She, a retired artist, and me, a young author.
Maybe the wind can speak to us both as we remember who we are.
Maybe the rocking movement transcends time and meets everyone who sits with a gentle embrace and call to go deeper.
Maybe a Massachusetts-made rocking chair bought on a Vermont mountain road can do all that.
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