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August 18th, 2011

window on the world

Windows. I love looking out of windows.

I could spend all day looking out of a window. Which is why it’s good that there are no windows in this office at work. I’m not distracted by the world going by and can actually get some work done. At my core, I am a windowsill dreamer.

The windows at home are another story. Most of our windows face south and overlook a long valley of farm fields, the closest of which is planted in alfalfa and corn. Nearly as much as the weather and the changing of the seasons, I love to watch the wildlife. Mostly deer, sometimes foxes. If I get caught in the lateral drift of a daydream, I can see giraffes and elephants grazing slowly in the savannas of my imagination; sometimes even the figments of those ancient and extinct North American mega fauna—wooly mammoths and saber tooth tigers—wander from the woods into the daylight of the field, just out of reach of some Pleistocene spear.

But yesterday I saw turkeys. Four of them. Four wild turkeys.

RWG-turkeys02

The turkey is a symbol of sacrifice, renewal, rebirth.  The wild turkey giveaway. Take it, it’s all yours. The turkey spirit reminds us that nothing lasts forever and everything is in a constant state of change. And so it goes….

At the crux is the flux.

Yes, I love to look out of windows, the double-paned dream machines that they are.

For me, windows are some kind of tangible yet messy metaphor for existing in this world—for being human. Something about perspective, or changing your perspective. Or: while the window—the fixed frame on the world—stays the same, the viewer is changing, the view is changing, the view is always being changed by being viewed by the viewer. (Whoa—that’s some deep quantum stuff there).

A window offers a way to measure yourself against the world. It’s like reading the same book at different periods in your life. Catcher in the Rye comes to mind. You read it at age 15 and it means one thing. Read it again at 25 and it means another. At 35, it’s a different book altogether.  But, whatever.

When I was kid growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I never saw turkeys. Not a single one. Lots of pheasants and geese, but never any turkeys. In recent years however, they have started to come back. I see their return as a good sign for the world—a good omen for a world in desperate need of good omens.

RWGturkeysgiraffe
Windows are also great for making cold frames to extend your gardening season.

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