Pull Up A Chair

Pull up a chairWe walked into our favourite café a few weeks ago and it was unexpectedly full as there was a guest quartet singing Christmas tunes. There were no empty tables and only a couple chairs at a table that a couple were sitting at.

They gestured towards us indicating that we could sit with them. We took the seats. It did feel a bit odd to be sitting with complete strangers. We turned our chairs to watch the singers and ended up sitting shoulder to shoulder with yet another couple.

We soon started chatting with them and interacting with their two year old who was dancing to the music without a care in the world (clearly my kind of kiddo). We enjoyed some wine, conversation and music and when the music stopped we spent another half an hour chatting with the couple that had offered us space at their table.

We left and both agreed that this was one of the nicest evenings that we’d ever had and it all started with pulling up a chair.

To meet new people, to connect with others, and yes there was also a wee bit of dancing with said two year old, rounded off what turned out to be a wonderful evening.

A few days later we went to a fundraiser at our local pub and I saw someone that I knew, but my partner did not, with her husband. She waved to us and offered us seats at their table. We were meeting friends there for dinner later and they joined us, as well as another couple over the course of the evening. At one point there were 8 of us.

People met each other and connected that otherwise would not have, and after close to 6 hours we called it a night and again we reflected on the way home, that we had an incredible time with these unexpected connections and it all started with pulling up a chair.

I was out for a run with my friend and was telling her about my week filled with unexpected joy and how I wanted more of those ‘chair’ moments.

With Christmas around the corner I knew of a few people that had no plans on Christmas day and my honey and I decided we would invite them to our family dinner and festivities. I invited everyone that I knew was alone. The invite alone sparked joy.

Two people said yes and we opened our home, ‘pulled up a chair’ and I can honestly say it was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

I want this year to be the year that I create the space to not only offer the chair; to listen, to connect and to be present, but I also want to be available to pull up a chair and to be offered the gift of making new connections by noticing when a chair is being offered.

I wonder what I’ve missed out on in the past by feeling too uncomfortable to ‘pull up a chair’, to risk intruding or the initial awkwardness? What gifts of getting to know another, even if it’s only for a few minutes or an evening, by not risking seating myself and being in that moment.

I want to pull up a chair, I want to also offer that chair. I don’t want to miss out on the beauty of what’s being offered to me with that simple yet potentially meaningful gesture.

Will you ‘pull up a chair’ and join me?

Leona deVinne