I’m a porch-sitter, not as in one who watches other people’s porches (like, “babysitter”) rather one who sits on them—porches, not babies, of course. Not only do I love, love, LOVE sitting on my own front porch, I also love, love, LOVE looking at other people’s porches when traveling through random neighborhoods by car or on foot.
I think a front porch can tell us a lot about the personality of the person who dwells in the house attached to said-porch. In fact, I always feel a twinge of sorrow when I see a starkly empty, no-life-happening-here type of porch because it automatically makes me think the person who lives within the walls of that house might be lonely or sad. Ok, so it might just be that such a person is a minimalist, or has an allergy to outdoor air or something, but my brain’s auto-response to an empty front porch is to evoke feelings of sadness.
Back to sitting. On porches. And, why I love it. Although, my own front porch is far from elaborate (it is narrow, long, has a tall glass-top table with two chairs, an old wicker rocking chair that my husband gave me as a gift when we first moved into our home and I was pregnant with our eighth child, several other seats that I snagged on a super cool half off sale, a lovely wind chime and a hanging Fuschia plant) it becomes a sacred sanctuary when I take a cup of steaming hot coffee out there to watch the sunrise at dawn.
Porch-sitting inspires an all-is-well-with-my-little-corner-of-the-world feeling, even when all is not well with my little corner of the world. In fact, sometimes, when life has thrown a few curve balls my way, or I’m having difficulty wading through a particular trial, spending a half hour on my porch encourages me to “keep on truckin’ .” It makes me think all will be well…eventually, even if it’s not well at that moment. I would like to think that more than one friend has found comfort in a time of need through a cup of tea offered with love and quiet conversation (or silence) on my porch.
We live in the woods where nature’s beauty and music abound as accompaniment to my porch-sitting. Birdsong, gently falling rain, a soft breeze crinkling the leaves and limbs of the forest, or even the symphonic cacophony of a crashing thunder storm delights my senses and leaves me awestruck at the Creator’s power and might.
Sometimes, my porch is far from quiet. Kids, grand-kids, cousins and friends bring laughter, music, tasty foods, games and companionship to the scene. There’s nothing like a summer night, lit by candles and fireflies, with kids turning cartwheels or playing manhunt in the yard, grown-ups imbibing a cocktail or two, and the pungent aroma of a campfire dying down to fill my heart with joy and gratitude for life’s blessings.
Every once in awhile, you meet someone who thinks porch-sitting is a waste of time. To these naysayers, porch-sitting looks like a whole-lot-of-nothing going on. To an avid porch-sitter like myself, however, such time is never in vain. You know those little contraptions you plug in to recharge a battery? That’s what porch-sitting is to me—a respite, a re-charge station, a fuel-me-up-so-I-can-persevere-and-do-this-all-again-tomorrow spa. Porch-sitting brings to mind Dorothy’s epiphany as her journey to Oz came to an end and she longed to be back on the farm with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry—there’s no place like home!
Don’t have a porch? That’s ok! Stoop-sitting, deck-sitting, yard-sitting or step-sitting might be just what you need for a little morning meditation, rejuvenation or summertime evening fun!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.