This was written as a part of my journey with Jess Morrow’s Invincible Summer Writing eCourse in 2012. I thought it would be fun to share again. Although I now have a new balcony…this first one will always have a place in my heart. It allowed me to open up in ways I never dreamed possible. The prompt was to describe one of our favorite places.
One of my favorite places to hang out is my balcony. I’m on the third floor, overlooking our courtyard. The balcony is new to me. We just moved here four months ago. I’m afraid of heights, and yet, this space is not frightening to me. It brings about a grounding and centering I often need as I move through my day.
It’s a large space, compared to most. A simple space with a concrete slab and beige-colored pillars in the two front corners. The iron fence has space in between each spindle (?) just wide enough for my cats to get a closer look at all the birds, bugs and people. It also has a string of small, round bulbs strung through it to light up the darkness.
I have a couple of chairs, a chaise lounge and a small round table to enjoy. The furniture has beige and green stripes running through them. My daughter loves it when the sun shines just right and she can lay out there and get some sun. I don’t often use the furniture. My favorite thing to do is stand at the ledge with my camera to explore all the yummy things I might see.
Common sightings include children, both boys and girls, playing basketball. Often they play well into the night. I enjoy to the bouncing of the ball and the sounds of their voices as they carry through my screen door.
Sometimes, a group of men can be found playing cricket on the tennis courts. Although it’s mid-June, there is no net out yet. Simply a large, flat, green surface which works well for a variety of activities. There’s a man here with a medium-size black dog. I’m not sure what kind of a dog it is but he likes to bring it down and let it run on the courts while he plays catch with his son. Today, a group of about ten children spent time running back and forth along the fence as the dog followed them. I suspect they all slept well tonight.
Although there is a putting green just below my balcony, I’m not really sure why it’s still there. It looks old and neglected, the green fabric torn in many places. I doubt a ball would roll very well along its surface. Maybe one day, they will either repair it or remove it. It’s intriguing to me that this space has been forgotten by maintenance here. The grounds are always so well kept, why not this?
I can tell they take pride in the exterior of the complex. There are beautiful flowers, lots of green space and ponds, both with fountains, filling the space. All kinds of wildlife stop by to say hi from the nature center next door. We also have many families of geese who call this their home. Today, as I stood out there, I was in awe of the number of them hanging out in one space. When the babies were small, the families kept to themselves, carving out space to eat and sleep and protect. Now that they are mostly grown, they seem to all be part of one larger family, happy to spend time together. We counted 67 of them.
It was so perfect out last night, I thought about curling up with a blanket and pillow and sleeping under the stars. Even though we live just off a busy road in the midst of restaurants and stores, the courtyard holds space for our dreams and I think I would sleep well there.
I have lights strung on the railing and dream of creating the “chandelier” I saw on pinterest made out of a hula hoop, black electrical tape and white lights strung throughout. I would love to lay out there under my own set of stars. I’m not sure if that’s tacky but I don’t think I care. I think it could be beautiful. And peaceful.
I just put up a bird feeder. It isn’t a pretty one but works the same. I haven’t seen any birds eating from it but I know they are because there is seed spilled all over the area beneath it and I found a small amount of poo. I guess I didn’t think this one through. I just love it when they come to visit. They sit, they sing, and fluff their feathers. I wanted to do something nice for them.
Note: This post was written over several days…bits and pieces of my daily life on the balcony.