"In the eyes of the world, there is no payoff for sitting on the porch."
~ Barbara Taylor Brown (from An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith)
# # # # #
A day or two ago my husband said to me, "Six o'clock? In the evening? How can it be six already?"
It isn't as though it had been a hectic day, or anything like one. We had breakfast, read the paper, drank a cup of tea (me) and coffee (him) and then got started on stuff.
He mowed. I planted and then pulled weeds. We took a couple of iced tea breaks - just for chuckles.
I mean this is about what our pace looks like most days. Occasionally for a little high adventure, we huff down the hill to Costco. The panorama that is human behavior in those aisles is usually enough to send us scurrying right back up to the ridge as fast as we dare go.
The point being that we can hardly claim that life is moving along at a blistering pace; not at this season in our lives. Just keeping up with the weeds is enough to give me blisters. And yet ...
It seems silly to admit it, and I have no explanation for it that will bear close scrutiny, still - it is a challenge to find the time to just sit on the porch - and do absolutely nothing.
It seems audacious somehow. Where is the upside? What is the payoff? How to justify the utter waste of time when all around people decry that time is our most precious commodity?
According to the author noted above, this is part of our problem. We feel we must "justify it" somehow, for some unknown reason.
Our culture does not approve of sitting on the porch doing nothing. Oh sure, we are fine with sitting at the hair dresser, the library, the theater or the spa ... perhaps even the pew.
After all, in these locations there is something being accomplished, if not by us then at least for us in ways that provide employment for others. Okay then, there is some demonstrable value.
But to just sit there, on one's own front porch, or back patio, doing nothing, saying nothing, actually not even thinking much. Just being there.
# # # # #
I have a small thought on why it may satisfy some quiet need deep within our souls. It is simply this: we are, after all, created human beings. Not human doings - but beings.
I feel foolish, but it has taken me until recently to learn to enjoy just being. But that front porch -or back patio - let me tell you, they are looking better every single day. Talk about your basic simple pleasure!
# # # # # #
Hope you find a few moments to enjoy your porch this week. No achievements or to-do list required. Until next time ~ Marsha