I saw it on a sign while out walking this morning. Walking poles and feet stopped at the words — “Windows to the World” — a large graffiti sign for a glass company. Yes! There was my gift for today, simple yet so profound.
Stopping at a local coffee shop I took a seat facing out to the road. I hear the background sounds of conversation, a clinking spoon, the scuff of a chair. Looking through the windows of my eyes I saw and wondered at the stories around me.
The clear glass let the sun stream in while holding the cold brisk wind at bay. I see people passing in cars and on foot unaware of those who are watching. The soft shuffing of the cars passing is the only sound breaking through the barrier. Cars stop and move on with people entering into and exiting from the walls that hold me inside.
The words have caught my interest and so I think of other windows I know.
I think of the windows of the various places I have lived and will soon live. I think of the light where I am now and how it has allowed my Christmas cactus to fill my room with glowing colour for several month of the winter. I think of the ledge in one apartment where a neighbor and I would sit with coffee looking out at the kids playing sports in the schoolyard across the street. I think of the large windows facing out on the lushly planted and wild growth in the paradise on King Road that held memories of my later teen years. I think of the large front window of the house I will be moving into and the flowers and bushes that I can plant under it to enjoy through the summer.
I think of the architecture in my city and the ability of windows to reflect and open views that create variety in the static city structures. I see into the television studio, stores and offices along the sidewalks. The storied arched architecture of the past invites my mind to wander into the history of my town. Glass walls of windows form ever changing murals or backdrops to the artistic pieces around the downtown area.
I even think of the internet and its window into a world bigger than I will ever travel. I think of the broadening of ideas, the insights into others through the words that are shared, challenges to old ways of thinking that enrich my interactions with the world around me.
Most of all, I think of a deeper window that does not require sight. It is a window that can be seen through as clearly for a person who is blind as my friend, Delia, and others have taught me. In the place I know her from, she is always quick to welcome a guest or share a seat. She is quick to reach out with a hug or shared laughter. She takes the time to listen to emails and respond with caring.
In the restaurant, it is this window which helped me notice a family next to me that would better have the space they needed if I moved down a table. It is this window that helps me remember to pack a few juice boxes for the panhandlers on the street and have a few coins handy for the buskers who show a real desire to learn their instrument through their playing.
This window sees the elder woman who comes and sits by me as I wait to go for an appointment. She looks at me and seems to want to talk so I turn and say hello. This would be her 60th anniversary she tells me, but her husband has been gone for 15 years now. This window sees something in her eyes that causes me to invite her to tell me about him which she does until someone calls her away.
I am always glad when things happen in life that remind me to pull up the shade and look at the world through this soul window. It lets the light in and allows me to more clearly see.
My mindful gift today is the many windows that open up the world.