Today’s column should have been written by Jerry Seinfeld. Because it’s about nothing. Or maybe, like Jerry’s show, it actually is about more than that.
To be more specific, this column is about a porch. My back porch. And the extreme pleasure that comes from doing nothing but sitting on it, taking in the world around me without a care in the world.
We all have those places. Places where we go to get away from the job, the hassles and even the maddening reruns of sitcoms you’re not quite sure why you watch in the first place. We’re such a plugged in society — let me check my email on my phone while I surf on my tablet while listening to music on my iPod — that it’s easy to forget the soothing nature of simplicity.
My back porch provides that. I don’t have a TV out there, no outdoor speakers, few distractions. Just the view of the trees and a berm that produces a plethora of surprises — be it a fawn feeding on grass or a possum my dog is convinced is the antichrist. Heck, one of my favorite things to watch is my dog enjoying the same view as I.
Like a lot of you, I’m guilty of front-door worrying when back-door enjoying should be taking place. Like you, I think about my job, my responsibilities, how I’m going to get where by when and even how I’m going to squeeze in the multiple shows I have stored on my DVR. The front door of your mind is a busy place, and one you better tend to lest it become permanently closed.
But that reality makes the back porch even more important. While it can’t be a priority, it should be a part of what you do and who you are. Those times of reflection and relaxation serve as fuel for all those things that occur once you go out the front door. Sanity is a nice thing, and the back porch helps you attain it, maybe even keep it.
Funny how when you’re a young man you can’t wait to get out the front door, get out of the house and away from things. As you age, the importance of going the other way emerges, but I guess the goal of getting away from things remains constant.
The back porch gets you away from many things, your troubles topping the list. It’s a place I strongly recommend, better than any club or hangout I know. My goal for the rest of this year is to visit it more often, to enjoy the simplicity of everything and nothing at all.
Email Todd Cline at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Wednesdays.