Observation: I did this the other night and included my childhood home, a college dorm room, and three apartments. What jumped out? That my favorite thing about four of the five was windows: big, wall-spanning windows. Some looked out onto hills and woods and water, and some onto city streets, but all of them were big and let sunlight pour into the indoors.
Reality: I have never paid the slightest attention to "window treatments." Actually, we have almost none. When we moved into this house, we had curtain panels on rods that covered the bottom halves of most of the windows, courtesy of the prior owners. Three children in three years ~ meaning that at one point their ages were five, five, and two ~ meant that said rods and curtains were quickly dismantled. And never replaced with anything. Some of the bedrooms have curtains, but not all.
Reflection: There are big windows across the front of our house, which faces sort of north. The best light in the house is the mellow yellow afternoon light that streams into the living and dining rooms from those windows. But there are big double-hung windows, lots of them, on all sides of the house. The views aren't much, but the light is wonderful.
The spiritual part: The windows and the light they offer are much more significant than I've been conscious of. What can I do, I wonder, to enhance and draw attention to the windows themselves, and to take better advantage of the light in terms of displaying artwork around the house? What might draw the windows and the light into the design of our interiors, so that the windows become integral aspects of the rooms rather then mere slots through which light is transferred?
Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
\and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even,
the miserable and the crotchety
– best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens to be
where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light
– good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
That is not why I wake early. I wake early because I can't sleep more than a few hours at a stretch. But when I wake up, there is light. Or there will be, in another hour or two. And so: windows. I want to become aware of windows.