Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We learned long ago from Robert Frost that "good fences make good neighbors." His poem, "Mending Wall" was, to me all about boundaries. The ones that visually separate us in order to allow the invisible ones to protect us. I struggle with boundaries all the time, those lines in the sand that mark the beginnings and endings of myself and others. I live a sort of out of bounds existence. I feel like a whirling dervish at times, pieces of me scattered about like the of a remnants tornadoes furry. So it should be no surprise that I didn't even have a porch railing on my top ten things to do to this lovely little piece of history I call home. But alas, insurance providers rule, spreading their need for strict boundaries around like empty sunflower seeds after a squirrels visit to a bird feeder. I was perplexed. What would that railing do to my lovely opened porch, would I feel fenced in, or worse walled in? Would the boundary established by the tidy rows of posts and rails separate me from the neighborhood, leaving me alone and desperate for companionship as I sat behind them with my neighbors on the other side? Anxiety. Yes sir, right away sir, we complied, not wanting to shop for insurance in the dangerous waters of 'we have what you need, and we are willing to make you beg for it' insurance industry. One by one the system of wood pieces came together. Cut to fit the porch for which I was desperate to protect. Screwed, nailed, chalked, painted, little by little it took shape, I eyed it suspiciously as it came to be. I found myself giving the almost finished porch test runs to see the effects of the partially done railing. More hammering, more painting, not a few expletives later and the deed was done, a porch railing emerged from the pile of raw materials. I allowed myself to accept it, to approach it, to experience it, and finally to embrace it. I settled in my spot, the chair on the left, I felt comfortable, exposed, yet concealed. There was room for newspaper reading, squirrel policing, and yes for neighborhood watching. Relief. I sat back and as I propped my feet upon the newly erected boundary I remembered, "good fences make good neighbors."


Anonymous Kim said...

So thought provoking and beautifully written! I am happy that you are happy with your new porch rail.
Something tells me that YOU make a good neighbor too! :-)

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I love you new porch railing. It really adds to your home!
Mary (BlossomCottage)

9:14 PM  

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