Why do we say if you build it they will come? Not a baseball field but a front porch. My parents live on an island…remote by most people’s standards. They take a boat to go almost everywhere and they have been retired as long as I can remember. When they committed to island life full time, many were skeptical on their ability to be so isolated. Hmmmm…. over 25 years later, nothing could be further from the truth. And the porch was the solve for that.
The simple front porch with a comfy swing and just enough light. Not the sprawling back porch with seating for 20 and a gorgeous view of the intra coastal waterway. But the front porch…albeit, ocean front and palm tree layered lawn…the front porch ended the isolation.
A golf cart doesn’t pass go without collecting a cold beer on my parent’s front porch. It’s the place people slow down to see who’s sitting out front so they can pop over for a laugh and a drink. Its become this thing! My sister and I joke when we visit them…their friends come in waves throughout the week, sometimes by bike, sometimes on foot in wet bathing suits and sometimes roaring in laughing on a golf cart blowing their horns for effect.
You hear Jimmy Buffett through the open windows and no one needs an appointment. It’s this open invitation…come as you are. The mounted bottle opener bolted to the wall is a sure sign that we are on Island Time. This porch is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…all my parents have to do is walk outside and they have community. A front porch can change your life…it can create friendships and deepen bonds. It can solve problems…two heads are better than one. And it can relax your spirit. It can change the trajectory of your life. Period.
So today we have our own front porches where we are making memories. Telling stories. Meeting neighbors. Though we don’t have the beautiful blue water and golf cart, we have community and our front porches are the root of that. If you build it, they will come!