I spend a lot of time on the front porch at my parents’ house. There’s usually some furniture, at least if the season’s right, and always a little bit of cover from the elements. More often than not, at least one dog will keep me company or, at the very least, wander by occasionally. I can lie down on the swing or park my butt on the one concrete step and be just fine either way. But yeah, I spend a lot of time there.
It’s a safe place for me to write. Be that blog posts, journal entries, or love letters. There’s quiet, but also just enough awareness, just enough proximity. I’m never too far to run inside for a snack. I’m never so removed that I lose cell service and miss calls. When family finds me there, they tend to let me be. They see me with ink-splattered fingers and shake their heads. They smile, but they don’t understand. Great, writing makes her happy, is what I imagine runs through their minds. But they don’t get it. Happy is probably a stretch anyway. Writing reminds me that I’m alive.
This June and July, I camped out on the porch swing for hours, almost days, at a time. I would sit in complete darkness and replay bittersweet goodbyes. I would crawl there from my bed and talk to the sun as it peaked over the treetops. Something about that spot became very spiritual for me.
The view is still tremendous. Stretches of pasture dotted with goats, backed with a thick stretch of woodland. A gravel driveway with a weedy strip down the middle that I adored but couldn’t say why. Squirrels and grasshoppers and lightning bugs everywhere. If I had any semblance of artistic ability, I would paint it on billboards for everyone to see.
The corners of the concrete are weathered and worn. The railing could stand a fresh layer of paint. Sometimes the gate gets stuck and I wonder if it’s a sign that I ought to just turn around and go back to bed. But it’s my spot, and I love it there. I like to keep my heart there.
Maybe because I met you there.