Set Wide the Window…
“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
Blessed with a month away in July, I found Edith Wharton’s invitation to “set wide the window” and drink in the day relatively easy from the morning view from my stepmom’s deck in Roseburg, Oregon (pictured here).
Yet, this same view becomes unbearable to gaze upon in the afternoon when the sun moves around to forcefully shine on the deck and through the windows. A daily ritual was lowering all of the shades on that side of the house around Noon and reopening them in the evening.
Knowing the sunset view that awaited us, we began peeking around the shades at around 8:30pm to see if it was time to reveal another incredible sunset.
Since returning to the intense heat of Austin, I find Edith Wharton’s invitation a bit more challenging. Like many, I keep my shades down or barely open to avoid the sun’s rays. With the start of August and no end to the heat in sight, how do we keep our hearts and minds open to “drink the day” without the physical cues?
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau
Similar rituals to those I experienced in Oregon can support us in honoring the gift of the day. Early morning and late-night moments outdoors, pausing in our air-conditioned car before and after work to take in even a mundane view can help. Whenever and however, pausing to thoughtfully drink in the day can help us find delight and meaning on even the hottest day. And as Thoreau so wisely reminds us, it’s not what we look at that really matters. It’s what we choose to see.
May you be blessed with inspiring views (at least in your mind’s eye) to welcome, appreciate, and drink in each day.
Seeing in New Ways
Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways.
―Rachel Naomi Remen
“When things are murky, quiet down, and they will gradually clear. Proceed, and momentum gradually builds.”
Walking Like a Poet
like a poet—
as though I have
plenty of time
at the many
of the world…
the soft murmurs
by a gentle breeze,
in the morning sun,
a shiny black beetle
yet humble life
will go on
and that my role
is nothing more—
and nothing less—
than to honor
—Kai Siedenburg, Love Poems from the Earth: An Invitation to an Intimate Connection with Nature. More about Kai, her books of poetry, and her work as a nature connection guide can be found at OurNatureConnection.com
P.S. Many thanks to the Board of Directors, my assistant Marissa, our web designer Andy, our guest writers and poets, and the wonderful Eremos community for supporting my one-month sabbatical. Family needs and the loss of a dear friend made it different than what I had hoped for, but this break helped me see many things in a new light. I will forever be grateful for this gift.