Friday, November 14, 2008

Front-Porch Society

Lazy-day Sundays... we used to spend them loafing in the front-porch swing. Old and young, we enjoyed swinging or swaying in an old-fashioned glider. The old people sat in big rocking chairs. We talked. The old people chewed the fat and the youngsters listened, taking it all in, to become part of the collective psyche that made up the South. Or maybe the youngun's put in their two-cents worth, and were generally smiled upon and respected and loved. If they got too chattery, they'd be told to "go out back and play." Southern culture flourished in a front-porch society. They say that television and air conditioning brought the front-porch society to an end, and that is probably so. But computers and video games surely deserve a morsel of blame, don't they? And my nieces all have cell phones permanently attached to their ears. Well, every so often, we still stroll out to the porch swing. Sometimes it's for a too-brief spell of quiet contemplation, broken by the noisy "chatter" of our own left brains. Or maybe we sit in the swing for a minute or two to entertain an energetic toddler.

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