Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beyond the Window

A few days following the birth of my first daughter, the Canadian health care system gave me (and all new moms) a gift bag full of useful items for newborns and new moms. This bag full of surprises was only the first of many metaphorical bags full of surprises that come my way as a mom.

Motherhood is a eternal spring of new experiences, fresh perspectives, and changing beliefs.

One surprise that caught me off guard was the decrease in time spent outdoors. Before I became a mom I spent many hours a week hiking on trails, walking through parks and gardens, sitting on my porch, and biking through neighborhoods. Since becoming a mom, I stay indoors more often and when I do get out it is usually in a car. Our time spent outside is most often at a playground.

Of course I miss being so actively engaged in nature. It did more than heal my mind's racing pace and my body's stress accumulated after a day's work. Being in nature shaped me and gave me answers to questions I didn't even know I had.

Fall and Winter days, for those of us living in temperate regions around the world, bring the cold and wet to our world. It's easier to stay inside with my toddler and baby. Although we get out when the sun is shining, we often see nature through the glass window.

While playing in our family room I point out to my daughters the female spider in her web, the vivid blue fall sky, the golden trees, and the broken branches dangling down all beyond the window. Sometimes my toddler crawls up on to the window ledge (its low and wide) and looks at these things. Sometimes she just gets up there and shouts "Shake it baby shake it" while dancing for the world beyond. And sometimes she just glances up from her spot among the toys on the ground and resumes playing.

But I continue gazing at nature. Missing it yet finding tiny pieces of calm entering my mind and body. I may not experience the little things beyond my window with all of my senses, but my imagination can take what I get and expand on it.

How do you see nature through your window? What does it bring to you?


Julie said... first writing office was a hallway closet. When we moved to our new house, I got an office with a window and insisted the desk be situated so that I could look out of it. I have enjoyed the changing colors of the fall leaves. Being able to look outside is very grounding and soothing for me.

Cara said...

We are fortunate to have glass french doors leading to the back yard. They are located right between our living room and kitchen. We live in Colorado and are experiencing our first major snow storm of the season. Just this morning, my daughters and I gathered our morning snack and sat by the back door. We watched the snow gently fall to the ground and pointed out the birds on the patio. We started making up stories about the animals in the yard. My two-year old began dancing in circles, shouting, "Snow, white. Yea!" We began describing the other things that we saw. As soon as we were done with our snack, we moved to the art table and began drawing snow pictures. Even though we don't make it out side as much as I would like to, we bring nature inside as much as possible.

Ginny Marie said...

The view out of our windows has been really pretty lately, with the trees changing colors. I often go to look out of the window when I need a break from my day; it refreshes me so I can go wash another pan or make another snack! One place I miss having a window is over my kitchen sink. When I was growing up I looked out the window while I was washing dishes. That made a boring task a little more bearable.