On balconies and porches
In the Spring when people start to be out and about once more you’ll see them on balconies standing, sitting with their winter clothes and scarves still on, the desire to see life is so overwhelming that they resist the urge to be really comfortable and warm inside. This is how important porches are and why they deserve this ode.
I love seeing porches used. I love seeing them used to recuperate moments of the day between the house and outdoors, a threshold, twilight stage in which you can decide to hold the moment longer.
At the front of this stucco house, as my husband and I drove home from church, ready to start our day, a young man wearing a bicycle helmet sat within the buttercup coloured railing and leaned forward in conversation with a woman sitting on the steps to the porch. She was wearing shorts and smiling, her perch on the steps making it all the more summery for me as I could feel warm wood on skin. The encounter so easy going like that, without a chair, that it filled me with carefreeness. Two bicycles were parked at the door and the two conversationalists were surrounded by inviting trees and shrubs.
Porches are places where a moment can be created and everything else can wait- a playground for opportunity. They offer you a space where your world can be reinvented, there are not as many rules to follow as in the day to day part of the house after all. For instance you are divested of all the modern trappings which sometimes make things more complicated than not- you can go without electricity on a porch- even in the evening you can use a lantern and have the delight of its warm tranquil light. There in twilight you can imagine your porch to be where you want it to be, you can go back a hundred years or move forward in time. You don’t need to bring your phone if you don’t want to, no rushed tasks to be performed. No need to worry about letting peach juice run down your fingers and occasionally on the floor where there’s no expensive rug.