I have taken to my porch. I hardly go anywhere else this summer. But friends come and sit there with me, and we visit for hours and watch the world go by. They usually bring a snack and a drink, and sometimes they’ll try something I’ve made, although a few won’t touch anything I offer. That’s OK. We are all afraid of the invisible threat.
It’s a perfect place to read or write. Or just sit. One day the girl across the street serenaded me with her violin. People strolling by or walking their dogs stop and linger in my yard and chat. I watch hummingbirds and bees hovering around the flowers, and chickadees and finches at the feeder. Monarch butterflies float around, and if I venture off the porch I can walk over to the house next door to keep track of the caterpillars chewing on milkweed and the chrysalises hanging from the building.
There are flower beds in front of the porch. This summer I’ve spent more time than ever tending them, and they look beautiful. I put on music inside the house, turn up the volume, and weed and dig in the dirt to the strains of a Mozart sonata coming through the windows. What could be better?
Of course, amid all the laughter and good times, we always turn to the issues that have forced us to be on my front porch instead of being out and about. We know that the coronavirus will be with us for a long time. We hope that the coming election will ensure better leadership. But so many things are unknown, and we are worried. I don’t know when if ever I’ll be with some of my family again. I’ve entered the ninth decade of my life and I have no idea if I will see the other side of this catastrophe.
The days are getting shorter and there’s a chill in the air. We’ll have to bundle up in blankets soon if we want to keep on sitting outside. Meanwhile I’m storing up the warmth and companionship of the time I’ve spent on my porch this summer, anticipating the quiet of the long cold winter.