The Bench - Part 1

Published on 5 September 2023 at 11:39

My journey so far in this beautiful garden called "The Splendid Park" has been full of meaningful experiences and adventures. I know to you; I only seem to be an object but let me enlighten you so that you will see me from a different aspect. Before I take you through my journey let me take you back to where I hailed from and how I became a part of so many people's lives.

As a seed I went through a grueling experience of being immersed in cold water between 10 to 15 days. Thereafter, with the help of the fertilized rich soil to take care of my nutrition, being watered from time to time, right up to getting enough of sunlight I grew up in a rich prestigious woodland of over 500 trees whereby I was named Teak.

As I grew, I witnessed several seasons. It always felt nice after a rainy day as I would feel immensely refreshed. I enjoyed swaying in the breeze as I watched all my fellow teak trees swing and dance away to the glory of the wind.

It's been two decades now since I thrived in this beautiful space. Everything was going well but one day a sense of nervousness and panic gripped my family and friends. A strong rumor spread amongst some fellow trees signaling a disaster headed our way. 

There was too much worry and anxiety amongst us. We heard that some chosen trees were being cut down and placed into trucks where they were being transformed into several types of objects either to be placed in homes, cafeterias or in gardens.

This was going to be very nerve-wracking as we did not know whose fates were sealed.

It was not long when I noticed some men coming to rest under my shade as they were exhausted from the heat, I left no stone unturned to provide and relieve them of shade and breeze. I was certain that they would not bring me down as they enjoyed the cool breeze but to my surprise I was marked to be felled.

I remember I was scared, numb and I completely stopped swaying.  I wondered why I would be chosen. I could not come to terms as to how one would be so heartless to bring me down. Some of my fellow trees were lucky enough to survive this ordeal but a chosen few like me were lined up for the end of us. I could not stop thinking about all the birds and squirrels that I was home to. I could not even imagine how their lives would be without me. I do not remember how I spent that night but all I recall is that the morning came by too fast.

I saw them come and after looking at me a set of instructions was suggested, and they came with some large sharp tools. I felt a sharp pain that was so numbing and within several minutes I collapsed with a loud thud on the ground. A rope was tied around me as I was picked up to be loaded into a truck with some of my relatives and friends. I can never forget that journey as we lay down still and scared, not even having a vague idea of what was yet to come.

After traveling for two consecutive days, we finally reached an unfamiliar place. We were now moved into a big open ground where each of us were inspected, and a course of treatment had been scheduled to be given to us.

After the inspection it was decided that we had to be dried up in natural sunlight but again there was a catch. This process needed me and my fellow trees to be cut into slabs whereby the desired thickness was determined to be designed and crafted.

To tell you the truth, the experience was very unpleasant and painful. I witnessed many of my buddies being cut into various shapes, sizes, and thickness. I was not spared either.

After this procedure at the sawmill, we were put into a kiln to dry away almost all the moisture and this process took approximately 3 weeks. I felt lifeless and absolutely dehydrated at this point and just could not comprehend whatever was happening.

I was wrong to think that the worst was over and once again I was picked to be graded. Some of us never made it as they were too brittle, but the chosen ones had another journey waiting.

My buddies and I waited nervously once again for the next course of action. Once again, we had to undergo the brutality of sharp blades and nails being pierced into us.

We were being shaped into different types of furniture. Some were designed as doors, while others as coffee tables, some as cabinets, while others as cupboards, some as tables and others as chairs and as for me I was destined to become a bench.

I was made whole well I believe to a certain extent I was whole but this time a lot of my buddies too became part of me as they were blended within me. After I was carefully crafted and assembled with wrought-iron, a fine coating of varnish was lastly painted upon me which made me feel absolutely glamorous and finally I was named the bench.

I started getting comfortable with the way I looked but I also missed being a tree where I danced to the winds tunes and basked under the warm sunlight.  I also missed the rain which cleansed me and quenched my thirst, and I missed the twilight nights.

Nevertheless, change is inevitable and since there was no point being miserable about it, I decided to take life as it comes. I remember one morning I was carried carefully and placed into a truck to be transported to an unknown destination.

I felt nervous and excited all at once. Nervous because I didn't know where I was going to be taken and excited because deep within my core, I knew that I would have to be courageous to embrace the adventure that is waiting to unfold.

The journey lasted almost half a day and finally I reached my new destination. I was placed carefully on the ground as I waited to be shifted to a new location. After about half an hour of discussions they decided to strategically place me in a beautiful spot in the park where my new journey was all set to begin at "The Splendid Park"

By Disha Sharma

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