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Mirrors and Windows

When I look out the windows of my home I never know who or what I might see. The scene changes with the seasons, and indeed, the hour. In bleak mid-winter at noontime, I might see a cold gray starkness that makes me shiver and hug myself close. By 6:00 that evening, it may all be replaced by the shimmer of Christmas lights or a candle in my neighbor's window.

In Springtime, I watch to see the first new sprigs of grass and and the promise of flowers as the plants emerge tentatively, and bud forth. Nature's first green is gold, as Robert Frost said, the hardest hue to hold. Suddenly and explosively the earth is in riotous color and the birds and rabbits begin again, the cycle of life that is both mysterious and eternal. Spring leans slowly into Summer and I can see my neighbors packing for a week at the beach.

Summer means that the light lingers and the shadows lengthen. The green on the trees darkens, and the fresh mowed grass is as cool to the eye as the weather is hot on the asphalt. The laughter of children running through a sprinkler calls me back to the window so that I can see, as well as hear, their joy.

The Dog Days of Summer beckon a reluctant Fall to finally arrive. The days begin to shorten with the shadows, and the trees express their relief from the long heat in vibrant yellows and oranges and reds.

It is from these windows that I can assure myself that the rhythm of my neighbors lives is constant and uninterrupted, and they can see mine. It is also from these windows, that I can see when tragedy or illness changes that rhythm, and I am called to offer support and encouragement through rough days and hard times that will inevitably come to pass. It reminds us of the fragility of life and our tenuous hold on it.

These windows show me all that I am willing to see and leave me wondering what new and different view will be offered tomorrow.

Can you imagine what a different experience this life would be if we hung mirrors instead of windows. How quickly we would grow tired and bored with seeing the same image, only to see it repeated in descending generations.

For me, I will take the infinite variety and unexpected. I will embrace the change and the differing faces of Nature. I will be reassured that the diversity in Nature is divinely inspired, and that my challenge to understand it is all part of this grand and glorious world. I'll take windows over mirrors and be eternally grateful for that challenge.


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