I have very few windows and all of them look out upon the backs and sides of other apartment buildings and busy streets and walkways. It is a dismal experience to look upon the plain boxiness of the adjacent buildings, my neighbor’s parked cars and trucks obscuring the view, the thin film of dust on the window panes from the construction site down the street, and the terrible waste of water as the automatic sprinklers feed the tiny patch of lawn under the front window.
However, the prompt instructs us to look out the window for a full minute. This is good. This is necessary. Taking the time to really look at something can reveal many things. For example, I see the jade plant just outside the window. This crassula ovata has been here as long as I have, even longer. It has grown so large that I can no longer see the ceramic pot it lives in. Looking at it closely has made me wonder how this plant can thrive so well in such a confined space. Then it is revealed to me that this plant’s life mirrors mine. I live in this tiny apartment, yet I thrive as well. Confinement makes one appreciate what one has.
Looking through a window often adjusts perspective. If I turn from the far-sightedness that sees only the ugly buildings across the street and become near-sighted, I see the objects that I have placed in the window sill to beautify the space. There is the stained glass rose panel I acquired years ago down in Baja. It reminds me of the days when my circumstances allowed me to wander a little further than I do now. It reminds me of the friendships long gone. There is also the hand-blown glass globe that I purchased from an glass artist in Mendocino even longer ago. The swirling blues of the glass remind me of the colors of the sea crashing upon the rocks on the northern coast. I remember the beauty of that area and my time up there as one of artistic and personal growth.
Looking through rose-colored and blue sparkling glass makes me realize that, God willing, those days will return. I will one day travel again. I will one day have a view of the world that is not clouded by ugly buildings and dusty cars.
In the meantime, I will continue to thrive like that jade plant.
ljg (c) 2015
Note: I have pointed out the waste of water to the manager but nothing has yet been done. If I knew where the timer was I change it to once a week. Such a horrible waste.