There is beauty in the simplest acts. Simplicity, despite all its definitions and connotations, is far more powerful than its outward impression suggests. I am a great lover of simplicity when it comes to living life. I like quiet, I like understated, I like simple. My most beloved moments and memories with those special people in my life – past and present – are the simplest of times. For example, I used to sit by the river with that special someone, and there we quietly sat, dipping our feet into its cool running waters while watching the natural world pass by, and often we would comment on the little fish that daringly ventured close to our feet, or sometimes he would try to teach me how to skip stones (I am hilariously awful at it, by the way); never in our whole time together did we go to a restaurant or needlessly
waste spend money on each other. And I am glad, for the times we did spend together were therefore infinitely more precious.
But one of my favourite simple things to do is to gaze out a window. Are they like portals? I think so. You’ll always see something different out of every window, a different scene through the tear in the incorporeal gateway between worlds. Perhaps it’s merely the glass that causes this divide – so near it is touchable, but still always seeming just out of reach. Since moving house in January 2014, most of the windows I now gaze out of are over the garden. Of course, this is lovely for me, for I so love the outside world. But I do find myself missing my old bedroom window at times. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, for I had spent my entire life in that bedroom, and the amount of times I gazed out that window… It was a big bay, and I could sit on its windowsill. And so I did. I sat on that windowsill all the time, since childhood, and gazed out at the road on the other side. I watched the world go by. I loved that window.
As many of you may know, I am an author. In Times of Old, one of the main characters is fifteen year old Elizabeth Gott. I see a lot of myself in Elizabeth. This wasn’t actually intentional, but upon reflection I now realise that she was partly inspired by myself. She is shy. She is sensitive. She is a loner. She loves simplicity, and she loves the outdoors. Elizabeth finds great comfort in gazing out of her bedroom window, out over the woodland she lives by, and she does this many times throughout the course of the Ilimoskus story.
The very first time the reader meets Elizabeth, she is gazing out of her bedroom window. There is a storm. She watches the wind dynamically sway the trees while the lightning illuminates the world. The next time Elizabeth looks out of her bedroom window in the story, the sky is grey and overcast. The third time she gazes out of this window, the sky is clear, the world is bright, but she ends up yanking the curtains shut, frightened and repulsed by the outside world. Why?
A window is a simple thing. It is one of those objects in life that most people do not stop to take a second thought about. But sometimes simple things can be very important. Sometimes it is the quiet, understated things that end up making the biggest impact. Elizabeth’s bedroom window may be just that – a bedroom window – but it is also so much more: it is the gateway between two worlds; it is the divide between the near and the far, the physiological and the psychological; it is the obstacle of illusions and certainty. It is her sweetest dream and her worst nightmare.
The location of a window may remain the same, but they have the power to reveal new sights as time ever continues on. The window realm never settles, never ceases. You can see so much through one simple pane of glass. So, next time you casually look through a window, stop for a moment to truly take in what your eyes observe. What sights await?