Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Unintended Side Effects V: Tales from the Balcony

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet.

Juliet Capulet
from William Shakespeare's
Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2

So I worked on the balcony for the first time on Monday night. It was glorious. Glorious.

It was 50 degrees out when I went out, so I wore a light fleece to keep the chill off. When it gets to be 65-70ish, though, I'm clearly not going to need it. I barely need it now. The comfort provided by the temperature is not where the glorious part comes in. What's so fantastic about working out here is that I'm not afraid.

I've talked about how I'm becoming afraid of the dark from working at night here on the blog before. One might speculate that working outside doesn't seem like a good choice, then, but you'd be wrong. I didn't necessarily expect that, mind you, hence the title, but I came out here and found a lot of comfort in working where I'm exposed to God's creation.

First off, there's more light out here than there is inside. There are streetlights all up and down our little apartment complex, which is a huge help. The big thing, though, is the sky. The moon is nearly full - at least that's what the web tells me as I write this, because I can't see it from where I sit - and rather than a black sky I'm treated to one that's this beautiful grey with subtle shades of blue running through it. There are also wispy white clouds dancing across it, so whenever I want to I can just look up and watch them play across the horizon. It's all very comforting. I know that God's always with me and that I have no need to fear, but at the same time, there's a tangible thing for me to look up at and be reminded of His presence by out here. I'm still a baby Christian in a lot of ways, and I need that.

Secondly, life is going on all around me. Leaves are scratching across the ground as the wind tosses them around.. Dogs are barking. I can see cars going by as people travel US 41 or, occasionally, drive through and out of the complex to somewhere that people go at 1:30 in the morning. I hear trains go by somewhere far in the distance from time to time. Some dude just coughed on his own balcony somewhere else in the complex. Something's whistling; it could be a bird. There are apparently a bunch of wind chimes on balconies out here. I've even seen some couples out walking. There is life, and that gives me comfort.

Dude just coughed again. He will never know how much I appreciate his current respiratory difficulties. Unless I yell across the complex, "Thanks for coughing!" of course. Then I'd have to explain because he'd probably think I was being sarcastic, and that would just be awkward. Best to just appreciate him in silence and hope he feels better tomorrow.

One other thing, and I know this is going to sound silly coming from a 31-year-old man, but I'm on a balcony. I've got my little bars up around me, and between that and my elevation it's not like someone could just come up and say "Eff you, Larry!" and then punch me in the face. It makes me feel safe as I confront the darkness. If this was a porch, I doubt I'd be as comfortable.

This is my new office. Any night that it's feasible for me to be working out here, I'm going to be working out here. This is so much better than working in the bedroom that it's almost not worth the comparison. This balcony is going to make leaving this place difficult when the time comes; hopefully we won't have to worry about that for another couple of years or so, though.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I doubt you would have appreciated listening to Frank and I cough last night. Not pretty.

But I do get the balcony thing. In the house I grew up in, my room had a door to the balcony. I wasn't supposed to go out there by myself, of course...but sometimes at night the temptation was too great and I just went and sat out there. Comfort and peace. :) Too bad it's cold again!