As I am sifting through my recent travel experiences, the best bit of it comes to mind. The porch. Have I ever told you about it?
My friend lives with her family in south east Styria in a house on a hill. From her porch one looks out onto hills, a little family hotel sits below the house, a few other homes have been build nearby in the last couple of years. But apart from that, one overlooks just more hills, rolling into the distance. Topped with the odd farmhouse, fields, meadows, woods. A most beautiful spot. Her house was always open and welcoming to guests. Now that she raises two lovely girls, it became even more lively. What with two dogs and two cats living with the family, people from the village and nearby town popping in on short or no notice, friends staying over. Nothing seems to disturb the relaxed routine of their busy lives. With both of them on full time jobs – ok, they both teach, so they do get a fair amount of breaks, too, but nevertheless – two grade school girls to drive to and fro (who dance and learn instruments also, so their schedule kind of governs the daily structure), always some repair or remodelling of their house on the go and a big garden to look after, this always amazes me. Whenever I am there, I kind of just fit myself into whatever’s going on there, somehow. And it always works out perfectly. But back to the porch: over the last eighteen years I have spent many hours on it, staring out into the distance, thinking. At times I was mulling over “big” decisions on that very porch, e.g. whether to quit my job and move to their village to live with my boyfriend. Whether to pack everything in in Austria and move with him to Germany. Whether to marry him or not and later whether to leave him or not. Later yet, I invited other friends there, too. To share what has become a part of me and to meet my friends. Entertained the girls when they were toddlers, still. This year I was there by myself and truly enjoyed the experience again. Sitting on the porch of an evening, the muffeled noises of a cheerful family back in the house, I watched the sun set over the hills. Or spent an afternoon soaking in the first substantial rays of sun this year, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes and chatting away with my friend. She is just great to talk to. Sharp, the kindest person you can imagine, a great mom and good at almost anything she tries herself out on. Apart from weeding, maybe. But what the heck. Gardening is way overrated. And I will always be proud that I may call such a woman my friend.
Sitting on the porch, Moka Only ft. Madchild