A Window by Patricia Gross
Patricia finds that now she is retired she has the time to appreciate the view from her windows.
The view through our windows used to be even better with Rangitoto dominating but now three townhouses have filled the spaces in our foreground and blocked the lower half of the island. I can't see into those homes but they must have expansive views into ours, especially at night, a view into our lives. In the summer my pot plants on the deck are ablaze with the colors of petunias and cosmos softening those hard roofs and crowded sections down below.
The Norfolk Pine directly in front started dying a few years ago. We watched as the steeple jack removed its branches leaving it like a totem pole until he topped the trunk, block by block, slowly revealing the sweep of Milford Beach and all its activities.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in Windows on the World : 50 Writers, 50 Views (2014) that a view is “ choked with stories, because it is full of people. I watch them and I imagine their lives and invent their dreams.”
I watch the cruise ships going out. I love to see them all lit up, decks packed with people setting off on their dream holiday. I have the cruise ship schedule so I know where they have come from and where they are going. How spectacular Auckland must look as they proceed down the harbour first heading towards us and then seeming to sail across the roof of the house in front before they turn and head out towards the Pacific and their romantic destinations.
I watch the beach, the tides, the changing colors of the clouds and water, the early morning walkers socializing with their dogs, the families playing and swimming in the weekends, the surfers riding waves after a storm. If something catches my eye I zero in through the telescope.
My friend had told me that at 4pm on a particular Sunday her son would be proposing to his girlfriend on the beach. I saw it all! He built a heart of shells and candles on the sand, knelt on one knee, then walked arm in arm with her - around the corner.
I don't know how I would manage without large windows. They bring in light, sun, colours, the sounds of the little kids and dogs next door. They offer views of other people's worlds whether real or imagined.
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