Sitting on the porch, finally
My friends suggested sitting on the new porch every morning before beginning the day’s work. Enjoy the sunrise, the bird songs, the breeze, the relative quiet of the moment.
I preach that, but I don’t practice it. Or if I do, it’s sporadic. I laugh at people who are so tied to their cell phones that they take every call that comes in even when doing so it rude to those they’re with at the time. Yet, the siren calls of my work in progress–and of the need to promote recently finished works–draw me away from potential relaxing moments with the same addicting urgency.
I go through withdrawal when I’m not writing just as “regular people” go through withdrawal when they’re not texting or talking on a damned cell phone.
We spent a few dollars to screen in our back porch a several weeks ago. “What a nice place to start your day,” people told me. Yeah, that’ll happen, I thought.
Suddenly, I’ve reformed.
I sat on the porch in the cool fresh air of a 57-degree morning for some 20 minutes or so with a cup of coffee and watched the birds coming and going from the ancient trees and our bird feeders. All three cats ventured out and stayed quiet. They were intrigued by the hummingbirds “dog fighting” around the sugar water feeders and, it appears, a bit nonplussed when the birds came up to the edge of the screen and watched us.
After spending time on the porch, I noticed that I not only felt more relaxed than usual, but that there weren’t any negative consequences in doing so. That is, Hollywood didn’t pick that moment to call and then hangup when nobody answered the phone. The stock market didn’t crash. North Korea didn’t fire a nuclear missle at the U.S.
Doing what I always preach actually worked. Whew, what a relief. I didn’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. I listened to nature and watched birds and wind-blown leaves and soaked up whatever was happening right then in that moment.
That screened in porch might be the greatest gift we gave ourselves while tinkering with our new house.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” a novella about folk magic and the KKK in the Florida Panhandle, and “The Sun Singer,” a coming of age, contemporary fantasy adventure set in Glacier Park.