The other day Patti, Casey and I were painting at the ranch house in Murphy, Texas. We were either painting trim, walls, sills or electrical faceplates.

Others like 'stoops' too

At one point, I took a break and went out to the small set of stairs that lead from the back door to the walkway to the garage. When I was a kid, we called these stairs a “stoop.”  My buddies and I would sit on the stoop and decide where we were going to play marbles, or build a treehouse, or play army at the nearest playground.

As I got older, the once reliable stoop gave way to chairs for the deck, or Adirondack chairs beside Lake Taylor in Bainbridge Township, Ohio, or those folding chairs we all carry with us to concerts in the park, or to our children’s soccer  or baseball games.

On this particular day, the air was blowing slightly, wispy even; the sun was bright and warm to the skin.  With the back door, slightly open, I could hear the teasing banter back and forth between Patti and Casey. I could hear Texas boot scootin’ music from Pandora on the iPad, and I could also hear the horses kicking their stalls in the nearby barn. Also, it was easy to hear the movement of machinery and equipment at the middle school under construction nearby.

Sometimes, the most comforting feeling a body can enjoy is taking a few moments to not make any noise, but to just be still and listen. Listen to the sounds of laughter from the people you love, music that inspires and moves you deeply, animals that share the same air and space with you and even nearby neighbors who are going about their business without even the slightest knowledge of your presence.

I’m sure we will find some chairs that may be more comfortable, but on this day, the “stoop” was the absolute best place in the world to be, and I’m sure it won’t be the last place I get the chance to stop and just listen.