Porches, especially the screened variety, go hand in hand with summer. Wooden doors that slam, the sound of flip flops on the brick path, and birdsong from my wooded acreage, all play a role in my summertime pleasure.
Dawn on my porch begins with a steaming mug of hazelnut coffee and kitties. Maine Coons are a part of my life and own me completely. Snoozing on the soft chairs with mom close by is a joy for them as well. I hope.
As I cradle my caffeine, I realize that all too soon the sun will be rising to its zenith, but for now, the world is mine alone. I can hear the scampering of little feet in the leaves, watch my two foxes run past, and wait for the arrival of my doe with her twin fawns. Just last night they stood close beside my screens, and I watched the nursing process. (It was not gentle!)
What a world I have surrounding me. My journey here, as I said in my book FROM SCRATCH, has been like something I’d read in a novel. A yarn about a woman who was about to make remarkable changes in herself, as well as her physical environment. Unquestioned belief that the life ahead was a first-rate choice.
Building this new home myself has been remarkable, and my spirit came alive while I was hard at work. Many nights I lay awake knowing my life had to change, but I lacked the necessary courage to make it happen. Making the choice to rebuild my life, while building my home, kept my spark glimmering. I was afraid, but that is in the past. What I learned is fear can defeat life. It begins in your mind, and you can feel yourself weakening a little more each day. Hope and trust slither away like a snake. I know I fought hard but didn’t know how to win the battle, and I became the architect of my own pain.
Now I barely recognize myself as I sit here on my porch. I still have sleepless nights, but now they are the result of excitement, not fear. Shadows are now passing over my brick pathway as the sun rises, and I have an inner feeling that I want to build a porch for everyone. Ha, imagine! I still weep, on occasion, as I look into the woods on this land of mine. Turkeys, squirrels, deer, and fox, they still take my breath away…
Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.
You can read more about Sally’s life in her memoir: