My porch is a symbol of something greater than just mortar and block and iron. My porch is a symbol of peace, sanctuary, of "home".
For the longest time, I didn't feel at home in our new city. I felt alone and separated from all that I had known and grown to love. Moving was difficult for me because it wasn't just down the road, or an hour or two away from what I had known, but a two day drive away.
Not only did the miles and miles of separation get to me, but the lack of any recognizable feature was hard to cope with. Where I had grown up, there were trees, and hills, and grass. Sparrows and cardinals, butterflies and flowers. Where we now lived was seemingly barren. Smack dab in the middle of desert land, we had cactus and dirt or rock filled yards. People surround their homes with chain link fences, which somehow made the dirty yards and lack of character even more heartbreaking, and so exposed. I longed for rain. I longed for the fresh smell of mowed grass. And this place did not feel like home at all.
When my husband and I began to search for a home to buy, I was excited and apprehensive at the same time. I hoped for a nice home that would meet all of our needs, but in the back of my mind I thought of my home back East, and how I thought we would grow old there. No matter how nice a home was, it always felt lacking to me. The well decorated rock sculptures in yards was no comparison for real, verdant lawns. But then we found it. The house with grass. AND trees! The home sat primly on a corner, surrounded by towering green trees, fruit bearing trees, and Bermuda grass. I knew instantly that it was the one, before ever entering it. It felt like the oasis in the desert that you see in cartoons. Of course, inside it held all of the charm and beauty that I was seeking, as well as the function that we needed. It was perfect.
And now when I come home, I see my beautiful yard, and it feels like a little piece of what I was missing so much is right here with me. And I feel safe. And I feel at peace. I feel at home.