Come, Gather…Perch on the Porch


I have always liked the saying, happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. That noted, I must admit I always maintained a coveted desire for a front porch. I would look longingly at well crafted front porches of Victorian homes or farm houses and think—I would be so happy if I had a porch. The books I could read on that porch. The stories I could write on that porch. To sip my coffee on that front porch would make every morning better. I would welcome evening more joyously on a front porch. For all the solo perching on a porch I imagined, I did not realize that the real enticement of a porch is how it brings people together.

Well into my adulthood I finally have a porch of my own. A real one—not a stoop, not a roofless deck. This is large enough to hang a swing, accommodate a padded bench and oversized rocker. I have twinkling white lights and a blue painted ceiling. I also have neighbors and friends, happy dogs, and curious cats who all make their way to the porch. Sometimes there is an invitation for popsicles on the porch or Friday evening gathering, but more often than not, it is an impromptu pause in the day, a sit on the step, a swing on the rocker.

For all the solitary things I imagined a porch would give me—the sweet spot for reading and writing—it has given me something much greater. A place to naturally connect with others. I won’t toss in statistics from researches who say the demise of the porch in newer homes helped facilitate the isolation of neighborhoods. I don’t need to. What I need to do is go out on my porch and reconnect—to nature, to my neighbors, to life. And…relish in the happiness of wanting what I have.

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