Backstory: Creating A Night on Buddy’s Bench


Story Symbolism

Some readers have asked me about the symbolism in the story. Below is a brief explanation of the symbolism I intended. But, as we know, there is often meanings and/or symbols that just appear from other sources of wisdom to guide us. If you see any and/or experience any others in the story, I’d love to hear from you.

Blue Glass

I have always been drawn to collect blue sea glass and have spent many hours on our excursions to Maine searching for blue sea glass on the shores. In researching the meaning of the blue I have come across are the following:

  • blue is the color that seeks peace and tranquility above all else
  • blue is the color of spirit
  • blue is the helper
  • blue is a giver, not a taker
  • blue likes to build strong trusting relationships


The Number 5

The zip code of Monhegan Island is 04852. In researching the meaning of the different numbers, I chose the number 5 for its meaning noted in a variety of sources.

  • number 5 combines the female number two and the male number three
  • number 5 is the number of marriage
  • number 5 is the number of the human being


The Owl


I always regarded the Owl as a mystical creature that was both in our real world and time and also a traveling spirit that isn’t limited to our definition of time and space.

  • Native Americans associate the meaning of Owl with wisdom, foresight,

and keeper of sacred knowledge

  • Owl meanings: wisdom, mystery, transition, messages, intelligence,

mysticism, protection, secrets

  • Owl is a creature of the night


The Cap


My wife, Nadine, gave me a blue cap with the zip code of Monhegan Island stitched on it. (Yes, that part of the story is true, and thankfully, Nadine is still alive and well and living with me!).

A friend and colleague, who is writer and journalist, wrote me the following on the meaning of losing a cap.

“The hat being blown off but being found again was a nice touch. Years ago, when I was in Jungian therapy, my therapist told me that having a hat on in a dream like that represented the whole person, including the unconscious. I don’t know if that’s true, but it certainly seemed to go along with extended metaphor.”