It was okay to throw a sweater on over my pajamas and sit outside in the cool morning air – because I was on the porch.
Settling in with hot coffee and the quiet companionship of my journal and a new favorite book, I was safely perched between indoors and outdoors, under the roof, but without walls or windows or screens to obscure my view. I had been needing a clear view for a while. Sitting in that protected space, a feeling of freedom and expansiveness wrapped around me. It stilled me long enough to drift through thoughts that I had been too distracted to notice. This was a place to belong and become, and to just “be” in a way that I had avoided with the everyday busyness of my life back home. For a week, Sara’s porch held me like an old friend, reminding me of who I am. Sometimes even whacking me on the back of the head with stuff I didn’t really want to look at, as only a good friend can.
On the porch, my wonderings were free to linger and form into real ideas…
…maybe I live in organized chaos because I have become comfortable there. maybe I don’t have to answer email on the weekends. maybe I stay small, strive hard, and stay stuck so no one will dislike me. maybe there is another way to be.
New views of old habits and hidden thought patterns came into focus…
…maybe my kids are right – that vacations are less fun when we go see all the things we “should” see. maybe I don’t want to go see this stuff either. maybe the best memories are made when we are not trying too hard. maybe I have been trying too hard.
Slippery musings gained traction and became just thick enough for me to hold onto for a moment and connect to other quiet knowings that have been waiting for a chance to emerge…
...maybe the possibility of connecting with people who have similar ideas is reason enough to write. maybe the discomfort of of revealing myself is worth it. maybe the best things happen when I am not striving. maybe I am not a magical super-hero who can control everything. maybe the only thing I can do is bravely engage in the moments.
The world looked wider, and simpler, from the porch.
I have admired neighbor’s porches and wistfully remembered the porches of homes I have loved over the years. I did not realize what I was longing for until I had a porch of my own for a while. The home swap I did last week with my friend, Sara, was a welcome change from all that I think of as “my everyday life,” but it was sitting on her Portland, Oregon four-square house porch that really felt like a break.
Her porch invited me to rest and remember how I want to feel in my everyday life. It loosened my grip long enough to become aware of some of the unconscious beliefs that drive me and sometimes derail me. I realized that I want to slow down and focus on moments and not numb myself with busyness. I want to remember to look more closely. I want to take the time to be an observer as well as a participant in my everyday life. And someday, I want a porch of my very own.
Do you have a place that reminds you of yourself? Do you have a porch?