I used to wake up when it was still dark, climb outta bed, walk myself down the hall in my one-piece footed pajamas, and find Grandma out on the front porch. I was 4. We’d sit and watch the world gradually lighten as the sun peeked its head over the horizon. Pretty soon the red and brown chickens would claw and cluck their way across the front lawn and down the driveway looking for their breakfast. Then I would get on my hot pink big wheel trike and race up and down the sidewalk with blonde pigtails streaming out behind me. I owned the world.
Some mornings, though, it would rain and the sun wouldn’t quite wake up, so we’d listen to the patter of the rain, and snap peas in a metal bowl. Then she’d hold me and say, “I love you, my sweet baby Melissa.” I love the rain.
Rain or shine she always had a whimsical song to sing and I’d snuggle into her arms and feel the life pulsing in her.
So it started young – this love I have for quiet mornings on the porch before the day begins. I love to hear the birds wake up before cars and people noise drowns out their song.
When I got a little older and was learning to read, we moved out of Grandma’s house and into an apartment.
Every morning I’d get my flashlight and a book before anyone else was awake and wander out into the living room. Grandma’s number was easy to remember, and I’d call her and read to her. I’d spell out the words I couldn’t read and she’d tell me what they were. We went to many places in those books. My imagination has always been vivid.
I always loved the moment I could see the sun breathing light through the window and I could shut off the flashlight.
These days, on Saturday mornings, my kids aren’t surprised when I’m not home til around 11am. That’s usually when they wake up anyway.
It’s because I’ve gotten up before the sun, found a coffee shop, and am taking in the first couple hours of sunrise and quiet. That’s my time to read and journal and make sense of life.
But, oh! How I wish for a front porch.
If heaven has a front porch, Grandma’s probably on it shelling peas and waiting for her sweet baby girl so we can sit and hold each other and bask in the newborn sun.