|Our house, in October, taken by Emma the year I|
was in Scotland for Thanksgiving. Note the large verandah.
With the first few days of heat each summer I'm transported back to the verandah. It was so much a part of my life in the summer that the heat is now inseparable from the lazy, relaxed torpor of porch-sitting. I watched entire stories of the street evolve and change from my perch on the porch, catching all the gossip, watching the goings on, looking at the people from the city who parked their cars across the street. The outdoor/indoor dichotomy was broken for one sweet season and everything inside was turned out. Neighbours, on their porches, would chat with us across lawns, or spy on us as we were spying on them.
|Emma and one of our doggies, Duchess,|
sharing a hug on the porch
I never seem to have this kind of time anymore. I don't know why this is. I wonder if it's because there's so much to do in a city that I want to do, that I just end up constantly doing something. Or it could be that I end up planning more (endless planning) because friends don't just swing by to sit on the porch with me now - we meet for breakfasts or drinks or dinners or movies, but we never meet to do nothing. To meet to do nothing in the city would be unthinkable; the first question asked would be "so what should we do?" This question was never asked on the verandah because the answer was so clear: nothing; we should just sit here. Which is, of course, doing something, but requires no spending of money or energy. In fact, it conserves both, and fulfills the deep need of the spirit to rest and meditate while the brain focuses on mundane things like whether or not the neighbour's flowers were a poor choice for their garden plot.
|Me and my Besties on the porch - these|
girls got the verandah nothingness
To do nothing at all, but to sit on the roof, and think, dream, listen to streetcars, look at the plants, watch the neighbours' raccoon, talk with Drew, eavesdrop on street-level conversations or the couple below us, gossip about the city, meditate on the future, rest, heal, and love.