When I read this, ideas flooded my mind, like the spring breeze through an open window, bringing scents, smells, and the beauty blooming in my garden.
I look outside and am reminded of how life is renewed each year in a cycle predetermined by the God of my understanding (whom I call God). It is a reminder that life is ongoing. We have cycles in our lives just as the seasons do. We have winters, when all seems bleak, then days of sunshine when God’s blessings seem totally undeserved. Seems hard to believe I’ve seen this happen for 65 years (we won’t count the first three) and still it is an amazing sight to behold. Even the birds know it, as they return to their original nesting sites and busy themselves as if spring-cleaning.
I look at a watercolor my daughter made in about fifth grade of the gigantic maple tree that sits within 20 feet of the house — from the point of view of being inside the house. In the picture a swing waves in the breeze magically suspended in time, for it is there no more. This magnificent tree has stood there for perhaps 300 years (really). I sometimes look very hard at it wishing to see Civil War soldiers resting in its shade, perhaps dozing, momentarily removed from battle. I see old pieces of machinery embedded in its trunk, a reminder that this was once farmland. I wish I could see this land before it was so immaculately cleared, no doubt heavily forested as is much of our state. But it’s a high piece of land, and no doubt once opened up, cows grazed, or grasses waved, and the view was unsullied by highways and tall buildings in the distance. I’d like to spot that farmer plowing the land with his oxen and hand-driven plow. I haven’t seen them yet.
I like to photograph windows and doors, but only choose the inviting ones. I like to peek in windows to see who sits or works there, and often they are gazing out, perhaps wishing they were me outside and walking for the joy of it.
When I was a student in St. Andrews, Scotland (1967-70), I lived for one year under the turret of the old Grand Hotel, but by 1954, the University bought it and renamed it Hamilton Hall, housing first men, then women students. Ah, the view from the ten windows in that aerie. If you didn’t look down, It was like being in the cockpit of a plane — nothing but sky and the rapidly changing clouds reflecting the sea, or is it the other way around? Looking down was the sea, washing the sand twice a day, creating quite a breeze in the effort.
Then, golf wasn’t the major sport it is now. Many locals played the Old Course (and they still do for a massively reduced fee). Then you’d see people playing rounds leisurely, enjoying the common ground like it was their own backyard. (It is owned by the town.) Older women (as in 70+) were a welcome site, carrying their lightweight bags, and playing a “bloody good” round of golf, dressed in their tweeds, their gray hair wisely pulled up into buns. No golf caps then sporting St. Andrews’ themes. Just golf for the love of it, the challenge, and the companionship.
I can’t help but think of the expression, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” How betrayed we feel sometimes when a door is slammed in our face. So indignant, or even saddened, that we fail to see alternatives. They’re always there; that’s the theme of life. You live, you go on. You grow because you were planted here on earth, and meant to return again and again, season after season. I love windows. They are an opportunity and a chance for change even if we don’t want to climb through them. The door has closed, life goes on in a different direction.
The forsythia has not fully bloomed. It will within a week, and then will be gone. But I have faith it will return next year, as I will. I cannot foresee the future, but I can have faith that life is based on a plan, as sure as the seasons.