So, I’ve been looking for the 5 years that we’ve lived in our house down here in Franklin for the perfect place to sit and read in the mornings. It’s kind of like finding the right table at a restaurant or, better yet, the right seat at the right table at a restaurant. You never want to be seated out in the middle of the room – you need to sort of be backed up against something so that you can look out and see all the other patrons, but not be surrounded by them, so that you can hear the rumblings of all the other conversations but still be fully engaged in your own. One of our favorite restaurants here in town is Flemings on West End up in Nashville. Roshare and I always call ahead and request a “back booth” because not only are they set beautifully on the back wall against the second story windows but the booths are actually slightly elevated for a nearly perfect vantage point. (I saw Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman there one night from my back booth vantage point – they were at a “regular” table – poor kids). It seems like every place I travel to I look for that spot to sit and be quiet in the mornings – the back lounge of our tour bus…out of the way but always with a window view, the screened porch down at the River in Georgia, a certain window-filled spot that looks out over the field below my parents’ house when we’re down visiting them. The truth is, our front porch here at our house is pretty much the perfect place were it not for the colder seasons and stormier days. It’s almost getting warm enough this time of year to venture outside, but the mornings are still a bit too cold for my pansy musician self. Even still, when it’s really calling, I’ve been known to bundle up in layers of warm clothes and brave the cold just for a good morning sit on the front porch. I was talking with my friend Al not too long ago about this very thing and he asked me to describe what it is exactly that I’m looking for. After one of my typically long and rambling explanations, partly for clarity but mostly for defense of my sanity, Al said I was really just looking for a “perch.” He went on to explain that the beauty of perches – turns out he’s a fan as well – is that by definition they are elevated for view and they are “set apart” for safety and for resting. He said it’s all about a vantage point, a place to look out from. One of my favorite things about guiding backpacking trips out west years ago was that almost every route we did crossed over the Continental Divide at some point or another. From those sorts of high places you get perspective, a sense of space that shows on some level where you’ve come from and where you might be headed…physically, emotionally, spiritually. Obviously, my morning perch is far from the top of the Divide these days, but the concept is the same…a place to look out from. A place that is safe, that gives perspective, a place for resting and reflecting. Truth be told, I spend less time in the mornings reading than I do just gazing. Dreaming maybe. Wondering. Hoping. And from my perch, wherever it may be, by the time I finally get around to the reading, it seems that the stuff of those pages has more room in my spirit to come alive, to mean something.