For a couple of mornings last week, this was the view from my bed. I spent a few days at the French Lick Resort and Spa, a huge mid 19th century resort in southern Indiana. It was so beautiful there - lush, green, hilly country, with trees in full leaf and flower. Everyone we encountered was warm and welcoming with a decidedly rosy outlook on life in general.
It was a restful few days for me. I was there for a musical event (a handbell festival) but neither the repertoire nor rehearsal schedule were taxing. There was plenty of time to sit on the long front porch, enjoying the company of good friends and the beautiful weather.
Because I tend to hole up in my safe little cave, I often forget that it’s important to venture out into the wider world once in a while. This trip was like a spring tonic, restorative and energizing at the same time. And even though a few days in southern Indiana seems small compared to the world travels many of my friends embark upon, it opened a new window on the world for me, this quiet little homebody who rarely strays from her cozy nest.
Writers sometimes have this romanticized view of themselves, secreted away in a tiny attic space, fueled with coffee and spirits, connecting with their muse and pouring their creative heart and soul onto the page. My normal life is nothing like that, of course. I have coffee and breakfast to make every morning, a finicky old dog to feed and pamper, a husband with chronic pain and a frail elderly mother who needs daily attention. Somewhere in between all that, I may retreat upstairs to my desk under the window, stare out at the flickering branches of the dogwood tree and listen to the the finches and wrens who settle there after enjoying a meal at my feeder. I scribble some words onto the screen or in my journal. I take my small pleasures where I find them - lunch at an outdoor cafe, the arrival of a book in the mail, the listening ear of a dear friend, an unexpected kiss or kindness from my husband. This is my world, and I’m grateful for it.
But no matter how much we love our usual view, occasionally it’s powerful to open a window onto a new vista and gaze in wonder at what’s before us there. It’s like taking a deep, cleansing breath - it opens the heart to new possibilities, reminds you of all the reasons you have to smile, and make you eager to return to the world you’ve left at home.
So wherever you are today, open the window wide and savor the world around you.