The front porch is one of the South’s great equalizers. Out there in the world, we don our personalities to sit in our offices, driver’s seats, classrooms; we dutifully go through the motions of life as we know it. Arise to an alarm, break for coffee, savor those moments of zeal and try to recall them when bogged down by the mundane.
But everybody comes home, and solace can often be found in the most mundane of activities. When the weather’s nice – freshened by the hopeful breezes and colorful bursts of life that appear come spring – who can resist dragging a chair into a sunny spot? There are all kinds: Whether it’s two foldable aluminum contraptions in the only sliver of sunlit grass you’ve got; grand, cushy seats on a two-story wraparound; or the classic rockers on a front stoop, taking a load off in the shadow of home is rejuvenating in its simplicity.
All are welcome on the porch. Sometimes, we digest a Sunday brunch with our family, sipping lemonade and calling out to neighbors passing by. Sometimes, we crack a beer and catch up with a good friend. Sometimes, we’re joined only by a novel, and stay until the very last bits of sunlight are gone. No matter how fast-paced life becomes, there’s always a time to stop and sit a spell. Porches (and “porches,” in any loose definition of an outdoor gathering space) are where we tell stories and hear stories, getting to know each other and getting to know ourselves.