Monday, October 24, 2011

The view from my window.

We don't always think about how the view from our windows affects our lives. After all, they're generally just seen as vehicles for letting in sunlight, and for those who are green in their daily habits, also a source of passive solar heat. Yet that view, what we see when we walk over to the window (a habit many of us are not engaging in!) can really affect our day.

The above is the view from my bedroom window. Every morning when I open the curtain beside my bed (on the back side of the house), this is what I see. Since arriving here I have been taking time almost every morning to look out that window (and the front one) to actually SEE where I am. It's been quite the revelation.

I don't know how many times I walked past the windows in our Hinsdale home. Although I did look out my bedroom window often enough, I don't think I actually SAW out it very often. I looked to see if the cars were in the driveway, if the dogs had messed on the pavement, if the children were doing something I needed to stop, and other things. Windows were just things to look through, or sometimes stare aimlessly out of. 

Here in our new home, windows have become a joy. I look out and I see the autumn leaves piling up against the massive stone wall that marks the border of our small piece of land. I watch the chipmunks scurrying back and forth, hiding their nuts for the winter (and we do have the cutest Chip'n'Dale style 'munks, I must say!). I observe the lay of the land, the movement of the land wights, the wind in the tree branches, and the sun and moon in the sky above the forest. My window has become a portal to self-discovery as well as outer discovery.

Yesterday, with the help of the children, I removed the last of the (poorly installed) dog fencing that the previous owners had installed. We can now walk freely out the back of our home, among the crisp, crunchy leaves and the natural stone altars and fallen-tree shrines. Come spring, I'll be installing some actual shrines of a more formal type, but for this winter I will be using the natural ones provided to me by the land herself. I see these as gifts for me, and feel a real pull to use them and enjoy them. 

I admit, I am looking forward to seeing what the next season brings. Those woods are so ALIVE that seeing them covered in snow is going to be exciting. Will there be deer? I hope so! Perhaps bunnies? That'd be nice too. I think I shall put bird feeders back there, as well, so that we can truly enjoy the wildlife in our area. 

For the first time in months, I feel as if I can plan for the future. For the first time in perhaps years, I feel free and happy. Even the early days back in the Hinsdale house were filled with so many stressors, the joy was muted. I had gotten used to seeing everything in shades of grey, with only a few bright points here and there. Now, the freedom of the new house, the plans for the new garden and orchard, the wonderful room that I love so much (and that reminds me of sleeping in the loft of the Little House in the Big Woods!)... all of it equals nights of restful sleep and days of exhausting yet satisfying work. 

Today, I look out the front window and I see a mowed lawn (yesterday was a great day for mowing) and bushes that have been trimmed back. Today we'll move many of our long-term storage things into the basement in preparation for picking up more bins and boxes tomorrow to sort through and take care of. The house is no longer just a building or shelter, but has become a home. I am thrilled!
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