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Jul
16

Looking Out the Window

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Right outside my window is the most amazing view. The Eiffel Tower, you think. No. Some grand landscape. No. It is a building. Yes, it is a rather old building. But really there is nothing architecturally marvelous about it. Well, I take that back. If it were outside my window back home, I’m sure I’d get a lot of folks passing by. But it is Paris. Where edifices offering ornate balconies and intriguing roof lines abound. But it is not the architecture that woos me. It is the idea of being able to open my window, look out at the world.

But what happens when we open our windows—even on those hot humid days of summer. What happens when you let the rain splatter inside the window sill for just a moment or two? What happens is we break past a barrier—either real or metaphorical—that is keeping us from connecting to the world at large. Sometimes we think of that as connecting with nature. That is a fine place to be. At home I sit at my desk and am entertained—sometimes to distraction—by the House Finches and Cardinals. I also see the neighbors walking their dogs. I watch the new parents pushing the stroller. But it also makes me realize that I am a part of the larger world. The world that isn’t far away, but rather right within reach.

In Paris, even though I know not a soul who lives across the street, the sheer presences of windows and voices, movement and laughter remind me that they are not so unlike me. And in this small, small way I feel connected to people I may never know. But they, like me, live here. Live now. And that may be enough. Enough for me to know that even when I am alone, I am connected. Enough for me to understand that by looking out, I appreciate what is within.

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