Thursday, May 7, 2009


We are conflicted about windows. We add them to our homes and garages in abundance, sometimes even paying huge premiums for custom shaped and sized models. Then once they are installed, we cover them up with window treatments, curtains, blinds, shades. Window treatments that we mostly keep drawn. We don't want the draft in winter or the heat of summer and we don't want the glaring rays of the sun and we don't want the neighbors to see in.

After a whole life of assuming a bigger house is a better house and more rooms are better rooms, I have a part time living space that is tiny by most modern standards. It is one big room that is defined into living areas not by dividing walls but by furniture clusterings, and the best thing about it is that anywhere you stand, you can see out windows facing east and windows facing west. At sunrise, I can see the light peeking over the hills behind and look also to the west to see the way the shadows of my building change on the buildings across the street and the way the sun lights up the tops of the hills beyond. At sunset, I can watch the brilliant changing oranges and reds and blues and pinks of the western sky, but also the subtle changes in the light and colors to the east on the limestone cliff that changes from yellow to orange to brown.

Sometimes others come to live here and run the gallery below in my absence, and one of the first things I do after I make sure they haven't wrecked the place is open all the shades and blinds. I live boldy behind uncovered windows, not caring who sees me in my "jammies" or with horribly uncombed hair. I want the light more than I want the privacy.

And just as soon as the temperature allows, and sometimes even before, I throw open the windows and sleep as though camping, hearing the varying patterns and volumes of the raindrops, awaking to the chatter of many kinds of birds, and if the morning is sunny, I can scootch over to the far edge of the bed and sleep in a little longer, right there in actual sunshine.

It is a smallish place, but I do so love the windows and the light and the air.

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