A decision made decades ago pays dividends today


This year of 2020 is more than half over. I heard some reflections on that last night as I was watching TV and “unwinding” from what was a lovely July 4th. Because of the joy I felt at being with our daughters and grandchildren, I certainly had a lot of positive thoughts to concentrate upon. But as usual, I digress. Let me get back to the reflections I heard about this most unusual year that we have had to navigate. 

The person I heard put things in quite a unique perspective. One sentence more than all the others he said really stuck with me and caused me to do some reflecting of my own. He, most eloquently, spoke of how New Year’s Day of this year now seems like a lifetime ago. “There is one thing we know for sure,” he said, “That it is best we don’t know what is waiting along the road of a new year for us.” His reasoning was that people would have worried themselves to death by March when the wheels came, if not completely off, then at least extremely wobbly in the world to which we were so accustomed to living. 

I’ve always thought life can be swallowed much easier in small doses than in one big injection. Hence the saying, “one day at a time.” I thought back on this year, the first three months of which were fairly routine. Then came March. Since that time our lives have changed considerably. But if there is anything we can be sure about in this world of uncertainty, it is that life is made up of change. Sometimes change is good and sometimes it is the opposite. I think we have seen a lot of the latter in the past three plus months and have not managed to see the former that is interlaced among it. But the good is there.

I have told you (probably too often) that during this time our front porch has been my “perk-me-up” place. It is where the fresh air reminds me how blessed I am that I’m breathing and where the chaos that is taking over some cities is as foreign as the east is from the west. When we remodeled our home 20 years ago, we almost decided to leave the front porch out of our plans. But we didn’t and here two decades later it has paid off in ways we would never have dreamed it would. It has been a long time since I allowed myself to truly realize the blessings of front porch sitting. Growing up, our front porch was probably the most appreciated space in our home. 

It was there that we sat in the early part of the night during hot summers to catch whatever breeze might come blowing by to give us some comfort. It was there that we prepared produce from our garden, orchard and vegetable patches to store for winter use. It is where on Sunday afternoons when neighbors and relatives who didn’t have time to visit other days would come to sit and talk, laugh, and enjoy being together in general. Life moved at a slower pace; one that could be navigated a bit easier since the goal was not to increase speed but to make each moment count. 

There is one big reflection that I can take away from the first half of this unique year. We have had to slow down. That has been unfortunate for our economy, but I’m one who thinks we are going to “roar” back. When we do come out of this fog that is 2020, I don’t think I will give up the simple pleasure of front porch sitting. The blessings it brings are too numerous!