The Porch Swing.
It was old. Blue. Torn cushions. Missing springs. Seemed to lean a little to one direction.
For 3.5 years of my life, it was also home.
That porch swing welcomed me to the campus house the very first time I worked up the guts to visit. It's hard to separate my memories of college from the old, somewhat rusty, swing that hung from the house at 707 E. 8th Street.
I remember sitting there with Paul, introducing myself to him and getting to know more about CSF.
I remember sitting there as friendships with Auburn, Liz, Mike, Tristan, Vince & Stephanie grew. And then, so many more friends came into the picture.
That porch swing was the center of my world through a broken engagement, a broken heart and a new found strength. I sat there talking with friends, watching the sun set. And, on more than one morning, I was still sitting there, still talking, when the sun rose again.
We laughed a lot on that porch swing. We talked of our dreams, our hopes, our plans. We cried our way through disappointments, disasters and personal demons. We bared our souls and we braved our fears.
For me, the porch swing was safe. It was where I could be myself, all of me, even the scared, unsure, overweight, uncomfortable me. It was where I went to find God, to be still with Him, and to listen to Him. Sometimes He spoke through books and prayers - but usually He spoke through friends.
Swinging there, my first opinions about all things important to my faith were formed. Not that they all stayed the same, but it was the first place where I asked the tough questions and felt safe to explore the answers.
I don't remember all the conversations, but I treasure the friends that came from those talks. I know it wasn't all serious, and it wasn't all frivolous.
It was on that porch swing, on that porch, that I discovered the depth and breadth of the people I was blessed to call my friends in college. I learned their dreams, their plans, their fears, their secrets. And, in return I shared mine, too.
I miss a lot about college sometimes. I miss my friends and living within 50 feet of people that I held so dear.
But, mostly, I miss that porch swing and all the promises it held.