Thanks to Diane Nadeau for this story!

April 9th 2011

The "original" blue chairThis is a story about a blue wooden chair along Beach Drive. ‘Blue’ usually sits solo on a rock, facing out, inviting all who wish to stop by for a moment or two to enjoy the view.  The original blue chair has sat there enduring the elements for many years. I do not know how it came to be or even how long it has been there, but I can tell you this, I have benefited from someone’s generosity. For the past three years, I have enjoyed walks leading to Blue, drives compelling me to visit Blue, and picnics to be savored with Blue. Alas, a few months ago we had a raging storm and Blue must of taken a tumble into the ocean. You can imagine my concern when I found Blue sitting along the side of the road, far far far away from her usual perch.

A kind electrician with a van gave Blue and me a lift home. What was I suppose to do? Leave Blue abandoned? I couldn’t bear the thought of Blue ending this way. I took the battered chair home with me, missing arm and all. I thought about all of the good Blue had done for me and no doubt all the good Blue had done for others and I devised a plan. I made a phone call to my uncle Alcide, who is a hard working and now retired man. I thought maybe, just maybe, he would entertain the idea of ‘fixing’ old Blue for us all. I explained to my uncle that Blue gets regular visits from all sorts of people and that she needs to go back to the rock before summer. Uncle Alcide did not hesitate for a second; he welcomed the project with an open heart and a chair for the people of Victoria would be restored. But he did more than fix up and restore Blue. Uncle Alcide took a good look at the dilapidated water logged wood and missing pieces and tried to rebuild it. Uncle Alcide took into consideration my request of salvaging as much of Blue as possible. When I showed up for another round of pictures for the ‘progress’ of the chair, I found a brand-spanking replica of my beloved Blue. I was delighted to hear that my uncle took an old piece of blue wood to the paint shop and matched blue for Blue. He primed and painted the chair so that the color would be rich and resistant to the various slideshow of weather we have here in Victoria. My uncle, my aunt and I have brought Blue back to the yesterday. It was a perfect day. A slight breeze and a glorious sun welcoming Blue back to the rock.

This is where my story ends. My uncle has given me an opportunity to make a dream come true. Last year I wanted to repaint Blue, as it started showing signs of aging, but in the end, I had decided that some things are wonderful just as they are. And then nature did her thing and Blue and I had to compromise, a new Blue would be created. My family and friends have been looking forward to seeing Blue back on the rock. Now we will know how this one came to be and who made it, and that makes it fun and meaningful. One of my patients is also looking forward to seeing the new Blue as well, making it one of her summer goals to walk from home to the rock when she feels better. I wish to express to my Uncle Alcide a sincere Thank You for taking the time and dedication in rebuilding Blue for us all, the entire project has special meaning because of this. I also wish to Thank the incognito donor of the original Blue chair, he or she may not know how this simple gesture has enriched the experience of ‘heading to the rock’ for some great quality ocean time. And here’s to Blue for providing us with a space to do what we do best, to be ourselves, when we face the world.

Ode to Blue—As it is (from Oct 18th 2010)

It was a bright and sunny day yesterday and I couldn’t wait to walk over to see you.

I mean, front row seat overlooking the ocean on a day like this, it’s like winning the lottery.

My walk leads me along Beach Drive and follows the curve of the seashore until I arrive at the destined spot where you sit with your silhouette perched up on the rocks, facing out.

But on this day, try as I might, I could not find your familiar blue wooden shape from the distance I was coming from. I quickened the pace and for the first time ever, wondered where you were. It bothered me to no end that my visual search against the horizon revealed no chair. What if—you weren’t there at all?

I raced up the sidewalk. Luck would have it that others, out of nowhere, were in search of migrating whales that day, the lot of us creating a small crowd who was suddenly making its way towards the few steps leading to the beach and rocks. The crowd to see whales and I to see you.

Someone moved you in the valley between two rocks. And true to how I usually find you, you were facing out. I claimed my seat resting my head against the faded blue wood and wrapped my fingers on your sun-bleached armrests. With the sun shining proudly on us, the breeze sweeping over my ball cap, and the gulls crying out above my head, I found heaven on earth once again.

You see Blue, your being here offers me a place to run to when the weight of the world is upon me. I come here to think and to stew, to release my thoughts, to whisper my thanks, to count my blessings, and best of all, to be inspired.

Board missing and blue paint chipping away, I love being around you just as you are, Blue as it is, weather worn seat and all. In the end, your simple presence is what I truly enjoy.

Diane Nadeau

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