In the South, front porches are for snapping beans and shucking corn. For rocking fussy babies, peaceful morning coffees and swinging your way into an afternoon rainstorm. A place where sacred secrets are shared, bonds formed and breakups, too. Guitars are played, sweet memories relived and new ones are made.
Nowadays I live in a sea of pink and creamy pastel Charleston-style houses with beautiful porches…and here in my perfectly groomed Florida neighborhood, porches seem completely misunderstood. I look around and I want to knock, speak to the families… “Mam, Sir, don’t you know? Up these stairs lay the very soul of the house. The essence of this home. Sit, and be still… Feel, and watch. Come together here, and just be.”
Maybe all of these perfect neglected front porches just make me miss my childhood porch. They remind me of the smell of the honeysuckles, the old rocking chair, the double swings and mostly, the people I miss, their music and their stories. When I pause to remember I can almost feel the slight vibration of the train passing by and it seems just a little too out of reach.
The plans I dream of my future home don’t have much focus, but the porch is clear as crystal. I can’t wait to gather with my boys and talk about their day, their crushes and their dreams. Our porch will be a place where we feel known, and where we get to know one another. Maybe we’ll snap beans or shuck corn, but one thing is certain…we will appreciate that front porch and we’ll bring a little Southern with us, no matter where we end up.