By Alicia U. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July, 2003
Summary: Some views are majestic, some views are spectacular… and some warm the heart, as Clark discovers in this introspective vignette.
Clark Kent sat on his front porch, sipping a glass of iced tea, admiring the breathtaking view spread out before him. Not for the first time, he realized that his quest was over. He'd spent his entire life searching for the elusive raw beauty of the picture laid out before him.
Growing up on his parents' farm, Clark had always believed Smallville, Kansas possessed the world's most incredible view. Peering out his bedroom window as a young child, he had seen animals grazing in the fields, sunflowers swaying in the wind, and red silos dotting the countryside. Every night, he had seen the moon lying on the fence post, like someone had hung it there. The world had seemed absolutely perfect.
As he had first started to notice his own differences, his view of the world had changed, too. He had begun to realize that the animals, sunflowers, silos, and even the moon couldn't compare to the beauty of the volatile sky as a big storm rolled in from across the prairie. Perhaps it had been foreshadowing troubled times to come. Even today, he still loved to watch the green-blue cumulonimbus clouds rapidly approaching, bolts of lightning flashing between them.
When his powers had started to develop, he had separated himself from other people. He tried to hide his differences by secluding himself high up in a tree house, aptly named the Fortress of Solitude. The view of the 'amber waves of grain' that stretched for miles was the perfect representation of the Heartland of America. Soon, he had realized there was more to the world than just his family's farm.
As his powers developed, he gained the ability to fly. By then, he had known that the familiar microcosm, his Fortress of Solitude, was no longer enough. Soaring above the clouds, he had seen the awe-inspiring beauty of the United States first-hand. Admiring the scenery from coast to coast — mountains, rivers, forests, and cities — he had known that there was much more out there for him than what he had known in Smallville. Something very strange, very powerful had pulled him away from his little world. He was searching for *something*, but for most of his life he hadn't known exactly what that something was.
After college, he still hadn't found a place that truly captivated his emotions, so he had ventured out to explore the world. He had visited each of the seven continents, and had swum in each of the seven seas. His journeys had allowed him to see the majestic beauty of the world's wonders: Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Egypt's Great Pyramids, France's Eiffel Tower, Canada's Northern Lights, and everything in between. As he had flown around the world, he had seen countless images that appeared to have been painted by God's own hand.
Nothing, not even the view of the Earth from outer space, could compare to the view he had right now, sitting on his own front porch. He found himself grinning, as he finished his iced tea in one long swig. As Clark Kent and as Superman, he had traveled all around the world, and had seen so many beautiful things first-hand. Yet he had never seen anything else quite like this. Even the aptly-named Wonders of the World could not compare to what God had made for him. His job as Superman took him to places all around the world, but he could never wait to get back home to the blessings that waited there for him.
Nothing anywhere in the world could beat this view. A carrot-top who could barely walk, dangling a sippy cup of milk. A little blue-eyed blonde, with her shoes on wrong because she liked to dress herself. The most beautiful girl was holding both of them.
Now he understood the true meaning of the word 'beautiful' when he looked in at his little family, not out at the world. The image of Lois and his two daughters absolutely took his breath away.
The view he loved the most was his front porch looking *in*.
Author's note: This story was inspired by the song "My Front Porch Looking In" by Lonestar on their "Greatest Hits" CD. Some of the lines in the story are lyrics [http://www.anysonglyrics.com/lyrics/l/lonestar/myfrontporc hlookingin.htm] from the song. Thank you to my BRs, Annie, Rivka, and Tricia, for their help with this story. Special thanks to Annie for giving me the title and a better ending than I had planned.