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.

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.

PORCH SENSES: Episode 7

This is the earliest I have been out on my porch so far since writing. I see flurries falling in one streetlight but not the other. Very localized system. The hum of the highway is predominant this morning, not a sound from a bird anywhere. The air is still but still a city smell to it. A crash of late melting ice falls to the side of the porch. The couch is alone no more on the boulevard today… but it shall join it’s friends in the truck. It would have made a great penalty box for street hockey.
A Toronto Star gets hand delivered to the retired couple next door…seems like a dying trade to hold a tangible newspaper . But some of us hang on to these habits like comfort food. A neighbour puts on his good slippers, visits his garage and adds to his collection of recycling and garbage on the curb as if THIS was the last one. There will be another truck, I can smell it.

PORCH SENSES: Episode 6

It seems a little darker but brighter this morning. Snowflakes are slowly falling to the ground. There is so little of them, you can follow their decent, you can even count them. The flakes remind me of the flying pattern of tiny summer bugs. A neighbour and her young dog have walked by stopping every 10 m. It seems she is training the dog to walk. The birdfeeder gang are quieter than usual this morning as if keeping the food to themselves. A slight wind in the winter makes the air colder but makes my thawed flag fly proudly. It must be difficult for a bird to land on a branch when it is moving. Darker grey clouds in the sky today is contrasted with brighter blue skies to the south. The wind increases and takes away my ability to breathe. That has always been a frustrating part of winter for me. The snow has stopped, the dark clouds a little brighter with a hint of red from the sun rising. What was dark can be bright again.