I have a thing for windows. There is something special about daydreaming an afternoon away, staring out a window. It’s only when you hear the key in the front door that you have to spring up, put some pants on and pretend to your husband that you haven’t been sitting there for the past 4 hours. Doing ‘nothing’.
That’s the thing, though. Why pretend to do something else? I concede that to some, sitting and staring out a window is not productive.
“Why don’t you do something?!” They say. “You’re wasting your life away!”
To me, it’s one of my more productive moments. I can solve that problem that’s been nagging away at me as I stare out a window. It’s a time to mull, to marvel at a sunset and, obviously, to stare at people as they walk past your window, oblivious to your gawking.
But mostly, it’s a time to dream.
A few years ago, we were moving out of my childhood home. Siblings had married and moved out, the house was becoming quieter. On my last night there I looked out from my bedroom window to the backyard and watched an amazing sunset that filled the window panes. I dreamt of the past, of fabulous Christmas morning drinks, where year after year my friends’ dad would fall asleep on the lawn. I dreamt of the cricket matches with my brothers where I would petulantly demand a second go after being bowled first ball. I dreamt of happy Sunday afternoons spent laughing with my much loved family.
I slept in a 10 bed dorm in Edinburgh’s Old Town for a few months one year. I would lie on my bottom bunk and look out at the changing colours of the elm tree outside the window of the dorm and dream of how my life would be with the guy I had met the night before, whose accent I could not yet understand.
Working as a librarian in the windowless basement of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, I would venture up to the main library on level 3 squinting and cowering as the natural light from the massive windows looking out over the city would attack my body. We would have our morning staff meetings at that window. Some say it’s the best view in Melbourne. I dreamed of painting a big mural of the window and the stunning view from level 3 on the basement walls.
These days, I have a furry friend who likes to look out the window with me. It’s my balcony window that also doubles as my balcony door. He sits on the arm of the couch and pitifully meows at the birds that taunt him with singsong as they play in the palm tree of the apartment block next door, safe from his mouth full of sharp teeth.
After a week of horrible weather, it was a pleasant surprise one recent morning to see the sun shining through the balcony window. I decided to let it in.
After a cat-like yawn and stretch, I went over to slide the windows all the way open. In an instant, a bird from the palm tree flew onto the balcony…and directly into my lounge room. In another instant my cat leapt up off the couch, six feet up into the air and caught the bird in his mouth. He ran to the bedroom and feasted, using my pyjamas that were lying on the bedroom floor as a plate. Looks like the dream he conjured up looking out a window came true.