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         Not much compares to the serene feeling that is given through a morning cup of coffee at the break of dawn. This feeling is best when sitting on a porch in the countryside. When overlooking the woods, the colors seem brighter, the birds seem happier, and the world seems smaller. It is very difficult to not get captivated by the silence of the busy lifestyle and to lose track of time. My aunts home surrounded by woods provides the perfect sanctuary to get away from bustling city life and enjoy the natural sounds that our world provides for us.

         Staying at my aunts always allowed me to enjoy what I could not in the city. I would always awake right as the sun was coming up. The light would shine into the guest room from the making a reflection on to light carpet. I would then walk outside onto the front porch where my aunt would already be awake with her steaming cup of coffee and her two, very intelligent, Jack Russel Terriers close by her. I stepped onto the porch where my feet were met with the slightly chilly, still, concrete that was wrapped around the three sides of the house.

         When I was younger my aunt had a hot tub that sat on the porch which I would always use in the winter to relax in. I would comfortably sit outside in the negative degrees and look over the woods blanketed in a white comforter. I could stay out on the porch for an hour enjoying the contrast of the chilliness in the air compared to the warmth provided from the bubbling tub.

         I would then walk over to my aunt as we said our good mornings, and I sat next to her on the wooden porch swing that hung from the ceiling. The wooden swing was hand crafted by my uncle and smoothed to perfection while still keeping the natural look of wood. It hung from sturdy silver chains and faced out towards a small pond and into the woods behind it. The pond was home to many catfish, ducks, and frogs. Sometimes my aunt would take me out to the pond to feed the catfish and you could see all of their mouths straining to get the food. We would feed them on a once sturdy deck was built over a small portion of the pond. Over time the deck began to break down, and walking over it one would need to watch their step as to not accidentally get a foot stuck in one of the many places that the wood has broken and caused small holes throughout. Although, from my safe spot on the porch I did not have to worry about falling through the deck.

         I would then focus my senses on the smells that surrounded. The smells given are those that can only be found outside the of the urban lifestyle. When inhaling I could smell the freshness of the Earth. There is nothing like the natural smell of fresh water, grass, and trees. At my aunt’s house these smells seem magnified. Even if one were to close their eyes and inhaled the area surrounding would provide and undeniable pastoral fragrance.  Many people will buy packs of pinecones to place in their house that gives off only a fraction of the way it smells when still provided from the tree. My aunt’s long gravel driveway is lined with pine trees that not only allow a beautiful sight but also give off unforgettable natural, clean smell.

         When sitting on my aunt’s porch it is hard to see the importance in the worrying and stressing that is so easy to get caught up with due to school and work. It provides a sanctuary of relaxation and calmness. It is amazing to hear the birds chirping, and the wind whispering through the tress without the background noise of cars. All the sounds of nature are enhanced. You can hear the woodpecker pecking against the trees, the humming of insects, the croak of frogs, and many of sounds that the forest provides.

         Being able to leave one’s worries behind for a few days, or even a few hours can be such a relieving feeling. Many people will find un-natural ways to get away for a few hours, because that is what most people do. If others could experience the blissfulness of earth’s natural sights, sounds, and smells more I believe they would start to move away from the substances and enjoy the beautiful world around them. 

Edited by Courtney Bradshaw

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