#33 A Bench In The Woods

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In the North Georgia mountains, about 5 miles south of the Tennesse/Georgia border, a bench lives in the woods:

A Bench In The Woods

That bench is my respite.

Respite: noun, a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.

I could argue that I’m not resting from “something difficult or unpleasant” (the official definition of “respite”), so perhaps it’s not a perfect definition.  It is, however, the way I view that bench.

We had an old bench that had sat in our backyard for several years, essentially unused.  I can’t think of the last time I sat on that bench.  Seemed a waste of a perfectly good bench.

So….we brought it to the mountains this past weekend when we came up for an 8 day vacation to our cabin in Blue Ridge.  I hauled that bench down a private trail I’d built through our woods (by the way, benches gets heavy after a couple of hundred yards).  It was fun to be on the lookout for “The Spot”, where I knew that bench would likely live for years.

“The Spot” had to be relatively level, but that wasn’t the main criteria (I knew I could level out a place on which the bench would live).  No, the main criteria was more subjective: a place of tranquility, a place where the view would instill an environment of calm.

About 3/4 of the way down the big hill, I found it.  The Spot was almost level, but something about the view grabbed my attention.  Down below, you can see a small ravine where a creek starts life on it’s way to the ocean.  Leading down to the ravine, massive trees.  Everywhere.  An ocean of green.  Across the ravine, sunlight streaming through the overhead leaf canopy, creating piercing rays of sun through the green oasis.  Birds chirping.  Otherwise:  quiet.


For the past 3 days, I’ve taken my dogs down that trail several times a day.  Each time, I stop for my respite.  A few minutes to take in the view.  Ponder.  Contemplate.  Meditate.  Listen.

Find a respite of your own.  You won’t regret it.

By the way, there won’t be another post this week.  I’m at my cabin.  With my wife.  And my dogs.

Enjoying my respite.




  1. Glad to see you are enjoying your cabin for a week. We did that for several years until after retirement we added on to our cabin and moved out of the traffic 10 years ago. Then we got busy “volunteering”……sometimes think too much. But this year have dropped some and picked up a new one. I am now a VIP (Volunteer in the Park) in the Great Smoky Mtns Natl Park as an Interpretive Volunteer at Clingman’s Dome on alternating Tuesdays. Just got back from my latest day there.

    1. Curtis, you’ve always been a person I’ve looked up to and respected. We’re following in your footprints, and also have plans to move away from the traffice and up to the cabin after retirement. We’re also considering volunteering! I think it’s great that you’re working at Clingman’s Dome – I can’t imagine a better interpretive volunteer! Thanks for following my blog!

  2. You’re right, the word “Respite” doesn’t quite fit the bill. Regardless of the word, I understand the benches meaning. A nice pause button to the day. A place to relax and recharge – we all need that at times. I always wonder how benches wind up in the most perfect of spots… 🙂

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