It’s where I spend most mornings and most evenings, where I set up shop with my zoom lens and a cup of coffee,
where I have my deepest conversations with friends and family. Warm
breezes, afternoon thunderstorms, crickets in the evening – there's
nothing like spending summertime out on the front porch.
Growing up, our front porch was like a second living room, where the view was far more fascinating than the television. Seeing cars fly down the dirt road, kicking up dust; spotting the birds flitting to and from the feeders and bird bath; watching the dogs sunbathe at the edge of the stairs. How many photos of how many different things could I take, limiting myself to that bottom porch stair? I could play that game for hours.
It was where I developed my love for photography, where I realized it could be a form of art. It was where I became an amateur birdwatcher of sorts, sitting still and quiet and diligent with my guide. It was where I grew up.
In my family, we could all sit and be silent without any awkwardness, or chat for hours about everything under the sun. It was where we played music and sang, and told our jokes – our best moments took place on that front porch.
Everyone had their own seat. My miniature dachshund, Tuffy, claimed the rocking chair — always in the sunlight and his happiest post; his mom, Copper, on the edge of the stairs, always keeping watch. Dad strumming his 12-string guitar, mom with a cup of coffee in tow, occasionally a sibling home from college or surfacing from the basement’s video game lair. More than the dinner table or the TV-room couch, the front porch brought us all together.
Now, the growing up is all done (or at least, most of it). We’ve all dissipated from our places on the front porch. “Home” is a vast array of places and people and far-away feelings. Our beloved family meeting space has become ancient history – and it took a while to pinpoint that empty feeling.
It was when I sat in the same rocking chair but in a different setting, a new house, when my dad brought over his acoustic guitar and we all sat outside until long past sunset – it was then that the feeling finally started to fade, and the emptiness began to fill once more with music and laughter and home. The front porch isn’t a place; it’s a feeling.