PORCH SENSES: Episode 20

It occurred to me that I have been coming out to this porch everyday for longer than 4 months now and I don’t even smoke. Lighting a cigarette seems to be the culturally accepted reason for going outside despite what the weather is and usually reflecting what has happened or about to happen on the inside. Smokers during work hours will have mini meetings outdoors with fellow smokers and strangely leaving the non smokers inside “out in the cold”. Complaint sessions, relationship problems, it is the modern water cooler conversation place but so much more since the no smoking laws of the 80’s. Many years ago I served as a juror and day 1 of being sequestered, the smokers got to go outside to give in to their habit. What about MY habits? The second break was announced and the same 4 grabbed their cigarettes with permission. I expressed my desire to have fresh air on my break. It felt great to get out of our little room. Even to walk through the hallways that we rarely used. A precedent had been set. By day 4 of this stand, everyone on the jury was taking a fresh air break. A welcomed pause in understanding and hashing out the details of law. Fresh air can be the stimulant you need to think more clearly, give you energy, even just the fact of moving your legs to go outside is stimulating exercise. Go outside and see the world even if only for 5 minutes. Take a deep breath, let it fill your lungs.
Smoking became popular and very cool until it was discovered how harmful it is to our bodies. Let’s make fresh air cool. You can’t put tax on that.

PORCHES SENSES: Episode 18

The air is cold but I only feel the chill when the air is moving around. A chickadee breaks the silence. It sounds happy. Snow is covering everything, there is less to land on and yet the birds remain contented. Maybe it is the warm glow in the sky this morning. The sunrise has given a pink hue to the sky. The East facing homes, the trees, and especially the steeple, even a tv antenna are all reflecting the fiery glow. Magic that is enough to put a skip in a step or an extra whistle in your bird call. Enjoy the day.

PORCH SENSES: Episode 15

I have the best seat for this show.

It is dark. It is a low fog. Streetlamps and Christmas lights are the only source of light outside. The rain and warmer air is busy melting the snow that has stayed on the ground for a few days now. You get used to it and call it winter. You also assume that you probably won’t see grass again until March. During my childhood in Niagara, a green Christmas was rare and can’t remember one specifically. As an adult, I remember more green ones than white. It could go either way this year again. One of my closest neighbours is out on his front porch too. He has brought the dogs outside for their business while he relaxes and burns a cigarette. They are loyal dogs and easily pop back inside the house when he is finished his nicotine. The falling rain and snow melting are dripping on multi surfaces from a variety of heights . They make a wide range of noises and patterns creating a symphony of water drops. It is enough to put someone to sleep. Behind me is the constant low industrial hum of a laker moving through the lock of the canal. The birds have joined the celebration of music by adding their own chatter all around. It now sounds like an orchestra warming up. I have the best seat for this show.

PORCH SENSES: Episode 13

Back on my porch… after the chaos involved in getting 2 kids up and out the door, this is peace. The animals don’t have this problem do they? We would get a lot more sleep if they were home schooled. The lack of wind has made the cold air bearable. One less noise as well. The birds are chattering in both directions. My neighbour puts his dog back on the ground and continues to walk. The dog is mostly blind but follows his sense of hearing and smell to determine his way. Another neighbour has emerged to scrape the collection of moisture frozen to her car windows. Safety first. We must be able to see in all directions while sharing a road. I do not trust some humans travelling the roadways even when all their senses are at their peaks. It is how we perceive our senses, make decisions and act upon them that divides us. As loyal as the dog is to his human friend, I don’t think it affects other dogs’ perceptions of him. Contented with smelling the other dogs and moving on, but we humans have jobs to go to. This involves kissing asses which is just another act that separates us from the animals. I didn’t say we were better, just different.