As an introvert, it’s no big surprise that my favorite simple pleasures in life revolve around quiet things I can do by myself. It’s not that I don’t want to be around my people, I just need to be around just myself a lot, too; naturally, my hobbies and “me time” over the years have gravitated toward activities that perpetuate solitude. My tops are: reading (duh), writing (double duh), yoga (this can be done in groups, of course, but your practice is really only ever a you thing and doesn’t require outsiders to be present), drinking coffee (keep trying to quit; keep coming back to it), and burning incense (some days are two- or even three-stick days).
As it just so happens, our house has a room attached to it that affords me the perfect amount of space for me to do all of my favorite simple solos: the sun porch. This room is two walls of windows and two walls of old exterior siding painted a soft buttery yellow, capped off with wood floors and a stunning stained glass window that was left here by the previous owners (for which I am forever grateful because it faces the east and catches the best morning sun). In the 11 years that we’ve been in this house, the sun porch has housed all of my simple pleasures, along with a whole lot of parenting, too.
In that time, this space has seen multiple trampolines come and go (fabulous for busting that pent-up winter energy), various tables, chairs, rockers, and papasan seats rotate through it, a hand-me-down foosball table take up residence, kid toys get kicked around, and an art easel that doesn’t always contain its masterpieces set up shop. It has also been a makeshift office for me where I grade papers or Zoom with students. It’s been the backdrop for multiple photo shoots (newborn, toddler, family, and professional). And it’s been my yoga studio – both publicly and privately. Most often it serves as a makeshift storage room for, well, anything. Yesterday I read a book out here. Currently it is where I am writing this very post (while burning incense, of course). Come to think of it, it’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a Room of Requirement, and while the room itself doesn’t take the exact shape I need, it is clearly very skilled at giving me what I seek at various ages and stages of both myself, my family, and my career.
Over the years we’ve looked at other houses, and while there were ultimately many factors that went into us deciding not to buy, leaving this room behind was in fact probably one of them. The sun porch has been where I have nurtured my self and my babies and the thought of it no longer being a part of our world just doesn’t compute for me. Maybe it would be possible to find another house with a gorgeous room that provides tons of natural light and the feel of air moving (but with the benefit of screens to keep the bugs away and heaters to keep the cold at bay). Or maybe there would be some other magical room that would draw me away from this one. Until I see that, though, I’m going to keep thanking my lucky stars that I can read, write, practice, and just be in this unique and shifty (in the best way) space.