Porch Friends

There is something about being from the south that causes me to want to move slowly in the summertime. Maybe it’s the heat, or the fact that school is out but whatever the reason, it feels like syrup is moving in my veins. (Come to think of it, maybe it’s the sweet tea.) It is slow, easy living, listening to the wind in the trees and the birds that inhabit my yard. A hummingbird swoops in to say hello, before darting off again. The bees are active, stopping by each flower in my garden in search of nectar as the neighbor’s rooster crows. Yes, we have roosters here in White County. They live right next to the cows…did I mention that farm noises abound? Taking it all in brings comfort. It is as familiar as the cricket’s song.
No southern home is complete without a porch. Doesn’t have to be a front porch, though that is my favorite. Any porch will do, as long as it has rocking chairs and a swing. A porch offers a covered, shady place to sit and enjoy a slight breeze… if there is one. If not, you have to rock or swing to make your own. With an iced tea or lemonade in hand, it is a taste of heaven. One of my favorite things about summer is porch friends. You do know there is a difference between porch friends and other friends right? Porch friends are those who will sit with you for hours and listen. They don’t feel the need to rush, or push. Just relaxing together and chatting…the old fashioned kind of chatting…not the computerized version. Porch friends are a dying breed. Our lifestyles force us to speed up this old time tradition of porch sitting. We have narrowed it all down to a status report. I am grateful, at least, that we haven’t done away with friendship all together…just fashioned it to fit the day in which we live. And as much as I am glad to have facebook friends, I hope never to replace my porch friends. They are the ones who take the time to know what is on my mind and I on theirs. It is a shared relationship of the heart. We are joined and connected by the slow southern summer days and our own secrets. I don’t know if other regions of the country have porch sitters. My guess is that they do…or at least some version of them. God put the desire in each of us to be known, and porch sitting is one place we find the feeling of belonging we have searched for all our lives. It soothes the troubled soul, causes us to pause and reflect and then arise refreshed and renewed. I think if all the world leaders would get together and sit on a porch world peace would not be out of reach.

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