The minute my skin starts to prickle from the cool morning air,
the windows are the first thing on my mind.
The temperatures have grown cooler here in Phoenix, and we now engage in one of my favorite simple pleasures – opening all the windows. It’s incredible how this can change the entire mood of our home. Everything feels lighter, the air is crisp and fresh, even the walls begin to glow. We’re still experiencing 100+ degree weather despite it being the first week of October. As the morning grows older and it starts to warm up inside the house, I feel a twinge of sadness knowing I have to shut my portals to the outside world.
When I was growing up, opening windows, doors, and being outside was NOT ALLOWED. I figured my parents were only doing their duty of protecting their children. I was a typical latchkey kid who was often in our home alone. They were concerned that an open window was like an invitation for unwanted predators. Plus, being in Arizona means that you spend about half of your year confined to an air conditioned cocoon. Escaping the brutal desert heat is the only way to survive.
When I moved to Europe, I recognized that open windows are a way of life. Even in the dead of winter with the snow swishing around, I found people opening their windows simply to invite the elements in, even if just for a brief moment. It was like a reset. Start over. A reminder that we are not isolated from nature, but that we are a part of a larger whole. It is such a beautiful experience.
When I returned to my homeland, I saw that not a lot of people take advantage of their windows. In fact, many act as if they are afraid of them. They cover them up with blinds that remain closed throughout the most brilliant of mornings. Shades are drawn, air conditioning blasts away, and the locks remain just as they were when they were first installed.
Why do we do this? Why do we confine ourselves to the comfort of what we know? Why are we so afraid of opening ourselves to the outside world? Why do we neglect all that surrounds us and gives us a sense of who we really are?
If you happen to be reading this, look at a nearby window. If it is still closed, take a moment to view your window as a possibility. An opportunity to breathe in a new chance. Walk to it and open it. Look outside. Feel the sweet air wash over you. And smile.
Share this simple joy with me.