Be still and know that I am God:
Psalms 46:10 KJV
This morning I stare at a blank page. What to write during the 31 Day writing challenge? Some days are easier than others to decide on a subject matter. Today I struggle.
I was sitting on my porch before writing and talking to God. I told him I was lost in what to speak on today and then there was nothing. No answer. Nothing, and so I wandered in my mind. I sat on my porch in my little country home and watched as a busy world trafficked by.
The world is so busy, everyone is rushing somewhere, and then, I thought of how I have always noticed that “Old people sit on porches.”
I am now one of them. My hours are spacious, I can do what I please and what do I find myself doing? Sitting on my porch pondering.
A porch is a great place to do many things. I am alone breathing in the wonderful oxygen that my wooded yard produces. I can watch the sunrise from it. I can enjoy the crispness of the fall air and see the magnificent colors as the leaves begin to turn. I can even sit under its cover and watch and enjoy the rain. Thunderstorms are amazing too while I sit on my porch.
I can watch the busy world go by and remember the days when that was me. When I too had to rush through days and schedules. When I was them, and now I am one of the “Old people on porches”.
Here in the South you see a lot of us on porches. I think people in the South like their porches more than anywhere else I know. So many homes in suburban neighborhoods these days don’t have any porches. Sometimes the front doors are elaborate, some have glass to look out, but they do not have porches. I think that is sad.
We drive a lot of country roads where I live and have various routes to take to get to the same destination. My husband usually does the driving and I like that because I can enjoy the scenery better that way. We do not discuss the route to take, I just let him choose. I like that too. I have had to make a lot of choices in my life, and still do, but routes to take is not one of them.
On one of those routes in particular there is an older gentleman that no matter the time of day, is sitting on his porch. He doesn’t have a very large porch like some of his neighbors do, but it is “His Porch”. He always waves when we go by, I think he must wave at everyone.
I have wondered when I see him, is he lonely? Is he hoping that someone will drop by and chat or visit with him? He doesn’t look lonely. He is always smiling when he waves. He is alone….but evidently, not lonely. He is just one of those, “Old People on Porches”.
When I was growing up as a little girl we had a very small grocery store in our country neighborhood. Life was much different back then and children were safer on the streets. Momma would send me to the store from about age 5 or 6. Sometimes I think she would give me a quarter just to get me out of her hair, and other times it was a quick trip for an ingredient she needed.
I loved walking to the store. I would watch in the ditches for empty coke bottles and change them in at the store for money. I got 3 cents apiece for each one I found, if it wasn’t cracked, chipped or broken.
An older man lived in our neighborhood several houses away, around the corner. His name was Mr. Thomas and he sat on his porch a lot. I liked stopping to talk with him sometimes and it was ok with my Mom and Dad because they knew him.
Every time I would round the corner, I would hope that Mr. Thomas would be out so that I could talk or just smile and wave to him. When we talked he didn’t say a lot he just listened to me. And sometimes he would go inside and bring me a piece of hard candy and place it in my little hand, then sit back down on his porch and wave goodbye.
He was a pleasant grandpa-like man but I don’t ever recall seeing any family at his house. As I got older and the walks to the store were given to my younger brother and sister, I sorta lost track of Mr. Thomas. Then I heard he had passed and it made me sad.
His Porch set empty for a long time. It was a sad porch without him. Sometime before they demolished his little rickety old house, his porch collapsed. I think it too was just tired and old and was off to porch heaven.
I think maybe those Old people that sit on porches have just chose to slow down and a porch is nice place to do that. Life for some, more than others in this world is much more physically demanding during younger years. Years ago not many people had desk jobs.
Their bodies are just tired of working hard and keeping pace. They have run a race that was a demanding one and now can take a break. Walk instead of run, before they cross the finish line. And be one of those “Old people who sit on Porches”.
Be still and know that I am God
Ms Linda Darlene