Friends shared with me a photo taken from the upstairs window of their home in England. The photo depicted a scene looking down over their lovely garden, and out over a bright, sunny-yellow field of rape seed, a crop used to make cooking oils. It was titled "A View From a Window", and it allowed me a small opportunity to peek into their world.
“A View From a Window” can be not only what we see looking through a glass pane, but it can mean looking from one world into another; from one world into another, or the present into the past.
I heard a story recently about a view from a window: a train window. A woman in the little writer's group I meet with at the library, grew up in the outskirts of London during the war. Recently, she returned to England for a genealogy trek, searching out names and places she uncovered in the annuals of her family's history. It took her throughout much of the country - some places she'd never been, and some she was familiar with from her youth. Those familiar places were barely recognizable to her, they'd changed so much: everything seemed smaller and more closed in as she looked out of the train window. Even the big leather suitcase her mother used to pack to go on trips when she was a child, which resides in her attic here in the States, she thought now seemed not very big at all, though as a child, held the entire family's possessions for "holidays" taken by train.
It's all about perspective, isn't it? The view depends on from which window we're peering. The train window showed her the present, but also took her back to the past. We do the same. We look out our windows - those in vehicles, or buildings, and make comparisons about how things were, and the changes that are taking place in the world around us. Her story, like my friends’ photo, was a window for me to look into places I've never been, and it took me to a time other than my own.
The Internet can be an amazing tool; it opens Windows, and takes us to faraway Vistas, (a little Microsoft humor there). I hope, through this blog, to show its readers a view into life here in West Michigan….its small lakeshore tourist towns, rural communities, and beautiful surrounding countryside. And of course, Lake Michigan; it all revolves around the Lake, (always capitalized, and always personified as a woman). The Lake is magic; she makes things happen and her many moods affect all who live near her. If you continue to read, you might get to know two of my greatest joys – my family and my gardens – both of which also serve to give me my greatest frustrations, (I’ve been in a nearly decade long battle with the squirrels who seek to destroy my gardens, and my oldest daughter is about to enter “The Dreaded Teenage Years”)
I hope you enjoy the view.
That’ll come later. Right now my morning is waning, and the world outside my window begs me to get out and enjoy it.