One of my favorite places is the front porch on my parents’ house. It was built as an addition onto the house several years ago. Ever since then, I loved to spend my days on that porch. From the front of the house, it overlooks our rural two-lane street with the beautiful landscape of those West Virginia hills in the distance. Just this past weekend as I was home to visit my family, I sat on our porch swing, looking out over the surroundings I grew familiar with over the years, and reflected on my times spent on this porch. With my mother retiring this year, my parents are going to be moving and selling our house, the only house I’ve ever known, along with the very special porch.
Both ends of the porch.
It’s an experience in itself to just sit in silence on that porch, listening to the birds singing, breathing the pure country air, and watching the hummingbirds dart around their hanging feeder. If you can wake up early enough, the porch provides you with a front row seat to the beautiful sunrise, shedding light over the misty land as fog lifts up from the hills and the crow of the old rooster down the road echoes around you.
The early morning view from our porch. Photo taken by my dad.
One of my favorite pastimes is spending countless hours over the past few summers reading in our hammock swing on the porch. I would begin early in the morning turning page after page, hour after hour, enjoying the serenity and peace I felt on the porch with a good book in my hands. I would go inside only for bathroom breaks or meals, just to return to the porch and read well until the fireflies came out for the night.
Just one of many hummingbirds who visit the feeder on the porch.
Nighttime on the porch is a whole different experience in itself. By that time, the traffic on the street has slowed, the lawn mowers have been turned off for the night, and you are alone with nature. The spring and summer frogs sing their choruses as the fireflies are like glitter in the cool night air. The spread of stars across the sky is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and the bright round moon stares back at you.
A snowy covered porch decorated for Christmas.
Once in a while, you’ll get the unexpected visitor on the porch, though. Like one evening two summers ago when my friend Shauna and I were swinging in the dark and could barely see the snake slithering by our feet! We screamed… and then laughed about it later. Great memories on the great front porch.
My good friends Kim, Ankeeta, and Leah enjoying the porch. (Leah is in my special hammock swing!!)
Fall has always been my favorite season though. Once I went away to college, I would deliberately make sure to come home around October, just when the leaves were changing color and there was a slight chill in the air. Sitting on the porch and looking over the yard and hillside, taking in the reds, oranges, and yellows of the autumn scenery, and smelling the changing seasons is just one simple joy that I will miss about this porch.
Dobbie the cat & Sadie the dog like the porch, too!
In my personal opinion, I don’t think a house can be a home without a porch. At least from my own experience, my porch has allowed me to sit and reflect on the beauty of the world around us that usually goes unnoticed. Even when Drew and I are house hunting just for fun, I often find myself saying, “Wow! That house is beautiful! …But the porch is too small.” I know when I finally buy a house, one of my main requirements will be a large front porch. From trick-or-treaters at Halloween to hummingbirds in the summer, the porch on my parents’ house has provided me with some of my favorite memories. When the house finally sells, I know I’ll miss everything else about it, but I guarantee I’ll miss that porch the most! So, if you have a porch that you don’t utilize very often, please don’t take it for granted! Just sit outside on your porch for a few minutes today and find the beauty in the earth that surrounds you.