Part of my morning ritual includes a walk, preferably one by the water. One of my routes is to walk along the local boardwalk. It’s a gorgeous walk that winds along a bay. The view is so lovely that I think I’m gazing out at the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
On one side is the water and on the other are benches for people to rest. Each bench was paid for by an individual or family in the community, who then had the honor of placing a plaque on it. There are many benches along the 1.1 mile boardwalk.
One day I took the time to read each and every plaque. Some were written to memorialize a loved one and began with, “In Loving memory….” Others were tributes to an individual person and/or to the area.
And there were also messages that were meant to impart inspiration or ideas to take to heart. And it’s these messages that I want to discuss today. The following are examples of ones that I liked in order to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
“May the glow of your smile shine upon us.”
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
“Whatever floats your boat.”
“Sit, savor the rest.”
“Heaven is a beach.”
“And when we go back to the sea – we are going back from whence we came.”
“Life, what is it but a dream.”
“What’s better than this?”
“Fair winds and following seas.”
“Enjoy the view.”
“Dream, love and laugh.”
“Love you more – 50 years and counting.”
“Stop and rest awhile.”
“Tears, perspiration and ocean – all saltwater.”
“This Buds for you.”
“Down by the seaside, sifting sand.”
“Enjoy, love and reflect.”
“Sit down beside me.”
“I will give you rest.”
“… to the seas, again.”
“Come, sit and remember.”
“Rest is a gift of God.”
“Laugh, love, inspire.”
“Live your dreams.”
“We only part to meet again.”
Reading these has me smiling. And it’s got me thinking. What if each of us donated some money to purchase a bench as a gift. A bench to be placed somewhere that you love – such as by the sea, a lake, in a forest, in a park or on a busy city sidewalk or perhaps on a balcony or in your own backyard.
What would you write on your plaque? What message might you leave to inspire, encourage, uplift or motivate someone? What would be essential to you to communicate? What do you want the world to know?
Think about creating a message, and record it in a journal. Use it as a bench mark. And then revisit what you’ve written in 3-6 months or a year. You might want to create another message at that time. You may want to use this exercise to acknowledge how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking or where you’re focusing your attention at the present time.
Remember your messages are personal to you. What is it your innermost being wants to say? Also, keep in mind that the bench with your plaque is there for the purpose of someone taking a rest, a break and for them to enjoy their surroundings.
So after careful consideration, I’ll share mine now with you. My bench is located along the Connecticut River, and it overlooks a beautiful sandy beach and a harbor with a variety of boats. My plaque reads: This bench is a gift from Barb Wickland. “Rest your mind, Rest your body, and Set your day to pause.”
And now, let’s hear from you, if you’re willing to share. Please comment below, and leave your bench “mark” in the box at the bottom of this blog. I’d love to hear from you.