Responding to Sally’s challenge, I selected a noun and wrote about it.
I pour my coffee and wander out in my nightgown to my own private slice of the outdoors. The sun warms my face and the breeze teases me as it ruffles the small leaves of the plants in the corner of my porch. I sit on the glider and take in the lush green all around me. The azaleas brush up against the screens Children come to play on the swing that hangs from the tree just beyond the steps. My neighbor’s house completes the storybook scenery. Their fachwerk brick and stucco home looks like part of a Disney set, the perfect once up on a time cottage.
I am joined on the porch by my husband of almost 40 years. Our day begins here with a simple slow and soothing rhythm Our morning coffee sipped together slowly with numerous refills is a summer tradition. We soak up the heat of the day, before it becomes overbearing, and we talk about family, about our plans for the day, and what is happening in the world. Sometimes we add the morning paper to the mix. We also sit in silence at times, those may be the best. This is a bonding silence where we experience our own worlds and share them without effort or words. Breakfast on a screened in porch may be a good metaphor for 40 years of marriage. It is comfortable, beautiful, invigorating, and fresh in its own way each day. You can feel the love that is understood beckoning you onto the porch. It is equally enjoyable on a balmy spring or summer day as it is in a dynamic rainstorm or a blizzard- a place you can go to view the world around you and always be home.
The porch is also an extension of home for Bingo, our cockapoo. He stretches out belly up, waiting for some love and glancing out through the screens. From the perch, Bingo keeps watch on the house and defends us from intruders such as the postman and delivery people. He greets neighbors and friends enthusiastically. He keeps watch for other dogs who may try to infringe on his territory, and squirrels who would like to bold through the screen to chase. He thinks this is his porch, I guess we all think this porch is our special place. He allows us to share it with him.
The latest member of the porch fan club is Oliver. When he comes over he points to the fan overhead on the porch. He is mesmerized by fans , all fans… but he is especially fond of this one. A long ribbon dangles from it to make it easier to pull and put on and off. From the time he was an infant, he has stretched out on the glider, kicking his feet, gurgling with laughter and gazing longingly at the ceiling fan overhead. Now in his second summer of life, he still gravitates to that fan, pointing to it and talking in a language only he understands. “ Gabybe gbye” With big smiles, a single finger is held upward under the fan. He holds onto the glider as he wobbles about, and he climbs on my lap, standing to get a better view of the neighborhood.
We added this porch to the house about 15 years ago. After having enclosed a large screen porch on the front of the house to make office space, we realized that we had cut off the air flow to our favorite part of the house- architectural gentrification ( a term I just invented) , where the actual fabric of the house is altered by the changes it endures. So, we built this small square space with wooden floors and beams, to reunite nature and our living space. The porch continues to breathe life into our home. It is inside, outside, and a place of its own for all seasons, having imprinted each of us in its own way.