Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Window

I spent the first 15 years at my company in office spaces that didn’t have windows, little cubbies and caves carved out of the conference room or wedged between shelving units in a lab. Now, since August, I have a window.

the view from here

This little rectangle is magical. At this moment, a verdin is flitting from branch to branch in the palo verde tree and a lesser goldfinch is hanging upside down on the water spigot beyond the fence, taking a few sips before flying off and then returning to do it all over again, tiny flashes of yellow and black and olive and white across the bare wood. A cottontail rabbit is hunkered in the shade under the big rails of the thick horse fence that is lashed to its posts with barbed wire. The irrigation sprinkler under the tree on the other side of the fence comes on in the morning, leaving a wide, inviting pool that ripples in the breeze and almost looks like a creek lapping against the leaves and twigs at its edges if you glance at it quickly, catching a momentary sparkle and oscillation out of the corner of your eye. Ground squirrels, coyotes, and hawks make regular appearances. Sometimes a bobcat sneaks in a cameo.

Look out the window and I’m somewhere else, maybe in a cool, shady spot in a higher elevation, maybe at a long passed friend’s cabin, maybe at a campsite with my dad. It's a perfect illusion.

For now, I don’t walk around the building to go back there in person, where I might notice it’s not as cool and shady as it seems, or where I can see that my snippet of dirt road is just a driveway leading past the house that sits just out of view if I stay on the other side of the window, where I would have no choice but to look at the inexplicable large metal giraffe standing next to an equally inexplicable badminton court, shattering the illusion.

I stay inside and escape into the world as it is in my tiny rectangle. A Gila woodpecker is on the tree.

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