Journey of the Red Chair
A red chair left Woods Hole this week, on an easy drive to the Belfy Inn in Sandwich, the first stop on a journey all over Cape Cod and the Islands this spring, part of a consciousness-raising experiment by local Innkeepers.
The red chair, whose travels are being documented on a website called RedChairTravels.com, is being shared and photographed in each unique Cape Cod village. Innkeepers are moving it from one to the next, and blogging about its’ exploits all along the way. And if all goes as planned, the chair will have been to P-Town and back before Memorial Day.
It all started last winter with a single image. Innkeeper Beth Colt posted a picture of this simple red chair perched on the ice behind her house. She posted it on Facebook and watched her page light up with “Likes.” The picture landed on the page of a California woman, who was inspired by the image to come visit Colt’s business (the Woods Hole Inn) in the off season.
That guest asked Colt to borrow the chair during the visit. “When she asked me to borrow the chair I was surprised; when the fruits of her labor arrived in the mail, I was in tears,” says Colt.
As Colt wrote on her blog: “Whenever I pass this picture, I think about the dialogue we have with our guests. Sometimes it’s as simple as can I have another towel, or where is the best place for dinner tonight?““But this dialogue always involves the give and take between real people who come with the rich back stories of whole and interesting lives. It reminds me that we mostly scratch the surface when there are oceans of personality, talent, life experience floating underneath the rote.”
“For me, the metaphor of the red chair is the invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place. It is an open seat at the table of relaxation. It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature where you can lose and find yourself at the same time. It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.“
Innkeepers all over the Cape were similarly inspired, and have embraced the journey of the chair with enthusiasm and excitement. Chris Wilson showed the red chair the stunning boardwalk to the beach in Sandwich. Tom Dott at the Lamb and Lion took the chair over to Cape Cod Brewery for a growler.
The chair will travel from Woods Hole up to Provincetown, then head to Nantucket before journeying back down to Martha’s Vineyard and finally home to Falmouth.
Check in at RedChairTravels.com for it’s latest exploits, and ask yourself – What does the red chair mean to you?