Let’s talk about that porch for awhile.
It was one of the things I liked about this house when we made the decision to buy. It was large and wrapped around two sides and had a barrier to guard the littles from falling off.
It was a good porch.
It didn’t look too bad unless you looked up at the exposed beams on the underside of the roof.
I love that term. Several years ago when I had pregnancy pictures taken with Little Mae, the photographer stopped by the house and commented on the exposed beams. It was the first time someone had mentioned them. I just felt embarrassed. And exposed.
It didn’t look too bad unless you noticed those broken off floorboards where children had played a little too roughly, or those rails curling up slightly from water damage, or the lattice falling in.
Don’t lean there. Don’t sit there. Step over here. Be careful on your way out!
It was pretty solid unless you stepped on a certain area which I strategically covered with a heavy bench that Steve made.
It was still functional. Mostly.
I even made it prettier by repainting the floor a fresh color and hanging baskets one summer. I put wicker furniture out and a planter of inviting flowers by the door. There were festive welcome mats and seasonal decorations and many good times were had on that porch.
But lurking underneath. . .
I was always fearful of what was under there. It was dark behind the lattice, and I knew there were two large oil tanks, but what else hid beneath the surface of our porch? I had a feeling that there were dead animal carcasses or worse. Those broken off floorboards allowed small toys and bits of trash to disappear.
The unknown is fearful, and our minds are quick to fill in the blanks with worst-case scenarios!
One year I planted irises with the hope of disguising the falling-in lattice that exposed the dark underside of our porch.
They stepped up and did their job beautifully. See how well they cover the broken place?
Sometimes we are just functioning and doing the best that we can. Making the best of the situation we’ve been given, we paint over ugly parts, cover up weak places, and cower in shame when someone notices our exposed beams.
Sometimes we can disguise the broken with beauty, hide what’s really there, invite people to look but not too closely.
Until it no longer works and the very strategies we’ve employed to camouflage the breaking and broken become a danger to ourselves and those we love.
Just like the porch.
No longer functional and functioning.