Front Porch Lessons, Part 2

Front porch lessons

Be still and see what comes to you.

As noted in last Tuesday’s post, so many lessons came to me as I sat on my porch in the early morning that I needed to turn the idea into a two-part post. And again, these are my photos, not professional ones.

Front Porch lessons

The Hellebore, better known as a Lenten Rose, blooms before nearly everything else. I snapped the photo above this past March. The foliage stays a beautiful dark green all year, but the blossom itself fades from bright to pale as you can see here.

Beauty comes in all shades and intensities; time, whether seasons or years, does not make a plant or a person less beautiful.

Front porch lessons

Last year I bought two of the same gorgeous perennial; one for me and one for my best friend. Hers did remarkably well and recently she couldn’t wait to show me how large an area hers now covered. Mine died over the winter…or so I thought. As you can see here, a revitalized portion appears to be growing from underneath a rock. It’s possible to thrive in difficult situations.

We (humans, cats, dogs, lizards, skinks, etc.) tend to seek out light. Yet I have learned to appreciate the play of sunlight and shadow. I’ve taken other photos of this angel dog statue, but I believe this is my favorite. Sometimes when we can’t see perfectly, we need to look a little closer or a little longer and we end up absorbing more than we would have.

Wouldn’t it be great if our stepping stone paths in life were straight? And oh to have a clean path…no dirt that spilled over from the last rain storm. Let’s not forget brightly lit so we can see what’s coming next. But life, much like the stones that will lead you to my front door, is often curvy, dirty, and in shadow. With all its imperfections, life is what we have.

Finally, a word about this tiny-pathetic-Charlie-Brown-looking tree. It was a gift from the funeral home that helped us with the arrangements when Tim died in 2008. The sapling came with a note instructing us to plant it in Tim’s memory. So we did, but it never prospered. Some years the deer nibble on it. Other times it appears to be dried out. Nothing we do seems to make it better or worse. We even planted a replacement evergreen close by, agreeing that this original just wasn’t going to make it another season and that we should dig it up.

And yet it hangs in there.

Never underestimate the difference a strong desire to persevere can make.


2012  Washington Post article on the Lenten Rose