She gazed at the beautiful view of the majestic clouds in the clear blue sky, while sitting under the swaying pine tree near the park pond. The shape of these clouds, which reminded her of her bubble bath, brought back a thousand memories from which Lily had almost forgotten. These memories were from her favourite place in the whole world, a time when she thought she knew what the colourful bench stood for.

On a Monday afternoon, from the bench she was sitting on, she could see the colourful park bench from a distance near the splash pond. That park bench was everyone’s favourite place to meet, greet, blow off some steam and maybe indulge in some romance. On that particular day, a couple from Greenhill would watch, while sitting on the bench, the reflection of their love on the surface of the water. The man caressed the woman’s cheek, tucking her curly stray hair behind her ears. The woman rested her head on the man’s chest and listened to the heartbeat of the hopeless romantic with a smile on her face. Then unexpectedly, the colourful park bench flickered to a red light.

Tuesday afternoon, an old lady from a retirement home, walked slowly on the pavement towards the colourful park bench with her walking stick. The old lady sat there to indulge in her favourite hobby — birdwatching. Lily could tell from a mile away that the old lady had pain in her joints. As the old lady moved her arms to change direction, she’d pull her arms closer and her face would scrunch up in discomfort. On this particular day, the colourful park bench flickered to a green light.

Wednesday afternoon, a strange man from the local mine sat on the colourful bench. His facial expression was one of a man that was distressed. He stood up and started pacing up and down, while mumbling to himself. Lily was on the verge of walking across the pond bridge, but was unsure as the miner would imagine that she was stalking him, yet she just wanted to make him feel better. Then again, the colourful park bench flickered to a grey light.

The rest of the weekdays continued, the same colourful park bench flickered to an orange light on a hot Thursday and a purple light on Friday, the day of the choir festival.

An ideal, perfect family of four; father, mother, son and daughter, from the city, went to my favourite place for a family picnic on a Saturday afternoon. A picnic blanket, then a picnic basket; with chocolate dipped strawberries, mini frittatas, mozzarella sticks and peach ice tea, was laid on the ground near the colourful park bench. As the mother gave her cubby son his food, his mouth started watering, his face lit-up and you could see the little stars in his eyes twinkling. The daughter was too busy giggling on her cellphone to even notice the delicious food. The father was interwoven with nature. He was listening to the sounds of nature with his eyes closed. He could hear the melodies of the birds in the tree and the whistling sounds of the strong wind. Once again, the colourful park bench flickered to a yellow light.

On a Saturday morning, Lily woke up from a significant dream feeling a sense of wonder. She wondered why the colourful park bench flickered to different colour lights. Without hesitation, she decided to have a delicious Sunday breakfast at the park.

When she was walking past the bench, the colourful park bench flickered again to a pink light. Lily also noticed that there was no one sitting on the bench. As she sat down under the pine tree, the colourful park bench flickered again to a pink light. She finally realised after eating scones with strawberry jam that the bench identifies and pertains to a person’s emotion by flickering to a certain colour light. She concluded that the park bench was more than just a ‘colourful’ park bench, it was a monumental piece of an object. A monumental piece of an object that becomes a self-observant psychologist that feels your pain, listens to your cries and listens to your fast heartbeat overflowing with joy.

From that day forward, she declared that the colourful park bench was truly the heart and soul of Grovenberg Park, hence why it was everyone’s favourite place to destress and relax.

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Tell us: Where do you go in times of joy or even suffering?