The words rocking chair immediately create thoughts of relaxing and comfort in my mind. The rocking chair has always been an essential piece of furniture in my home. In the early days when money was on a tight budget, it was a Bentwood rocker that was coveted, and finally I found one on sale at one of those catalogue stores. We brought it home and put it together and it became part of the family room furniture.
When Jen was born that rocker was used to get her to sleep, to soothe her when sick, and to comfort a parent commited to staying by the bedside during episodes of croup and other childhood illnesses.
After we moved to a bigger house the rocker became part of the living room furniture, where it was used to soothe a worried hockey fan as he watched his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs have yet another disaster season.
Later the rocker was sent to the basement and was replaced by an upholstered model. There are many kinds of rocking chairs. The model isn't so important, it's the relationship one has with the rocker.
There's a sentimentality associated with the motion of rocking. Charlotte Airport recognized the importance of creating a comfortable space for its travellers, and installed a row of rocking chairs between its concourses. The chairs invite travellers to take a break and sit for a while, although the chairs are usually occupied and I've stood nearby hoping someone would get up so I could sit and rock.
Rocking chairs and front porches were made for each other. There is a home down the road from us, and many evenings we would drive by and the entire family would be sitting on the front porch, with the mother taking the prime spot in the rocking chair. The image of that family just sitting and enjoyed their evenings caused me to yearn for a rocking chair for my own front porch.
At the back of the mercado in town there is a small furniture place. We placed our order for a rocking chair - about $100 - solid wood with a padded upholstered seat. It was a happy day when we picked up our chair and placed it on the front terrace beside the hammock.
Over the years the chair has been enjoyed by many people seeking a few minutes to shoot the breeze while Miguel lazed in the hammock after his morning newspaper read. The shaded garden added to the comfort, blocking out the heat and offering a cool respite to hard-working men.
Just the image of the chair on the terrace forms an image of invitation and relaxing. "Come and rest awhile", the chair seems to say. And many take the chair up on its offer.
The chair is used at night to hold up a folded table that blocks the wind and rain from Negra's bed. And at night the stray cats call the chair 'bed'. First the original Chong, the black cat. Next the current Chong (previously referred to as Cheech). And now the baby, called Velose (Speedy) because it runs like the wind and all you can usually see is moving plants as it weaves through the garden to escape the human monsters.
Last night was as cold as I've ever experienced here on Isla. Rainy too. I wondered where the baby Velose would find a warm, dry place to sleep. But as I climbed into bed in the downstairs bedroom, I noticed a little head on the rocking chair. Yup, Velose was going to sleep there, on the padded seat.
Rocking chairs. Not just for humans.