Slice of Life Story Day 6 Windows Open Up A World of Wonder

We have just had new windows installed in the back section of our house. They have provided a more modern look and allowed the outside world to flow inwards. The windows fold back creating a direct connection to a covered outdoor deck. This provides an illusion of more space.

Windows play such an important part in our homes and our work places. Sometimes we take the view for granted, at other times we totally dismiss them as irrelevant. I once sat beside a window in a restaurant in New York that provided a close up view of a brick wall.  In Venice, a window next to the canal enabled me to watch as gondolas glided closely by as I dined with my wife in a small trattoria. The placement of a window is a critical consideration. 

I was fortunate enough during my time working in the US to live on the 27th floor of a New York building in Midtown. Our small apartment was conveniently situated on the corner of the building, thus providing stunning views along two sides. We looked across to the Hudson River and New Jersey in one direction and over Broadway and the Wintergarden theatre in the other direction.

One Sunday morning, I woke to see a monkey dressed in a suit performing tricks on the rooftop of a nearby building. When I informed Vicki she thought I was hallucinating. I continued my observations, I eventually concluding that they were filming a commercial. Without those expansive windows I would have missed this New York moment.

Windows create learning opportunities. I once read about a teacher in Los Angeles who found himself teaching in a basement without any natural light -a hideous situation for both teacher and students. The teacher decided to create windows to the world and asked his students to bring a photo from home showing the view out their respective windows. The resultant window photos were assembled in the 'dungeon' to create a special window of their own making. This simple project quickly expanded into an internet project where the students and their inspiring teacher asked people all around the world to take a photo and send it to them. In that way they brought the windows of the world to their classroom. I was living in New York at the time and took part in this special project. 

I find myself borrowing from the structure of Margaret Wise Brown’s ‘Important’ Poems to conclude my little paean to windows.

The important thing about a window
Is that it lets the outside in

It protects you from the miserable winds of winter
And the sizzling heat of summer
It allows essential light to enter a room
And provides an ideal place to sit and read
On a slow Sunday afternoon

But the important thing about a window

Is that it lets the outside in


  1. Morning Alan,
    You've got me thinking about all the great windows I've loved in my life. I am enjoying the view from yours first. There's nothing like a great view... I have one right now in Aruba, but back home, the best- the Hudson River from high above.
    You have great Slices to share as usual,

  2. Hi Alan,
    Once again, you have intrigued me with your look on the world. I too, am enamored with windows. I am blessed to live in a home on a riverbank. We have a lot of large windows. Because we sit above the river, it appears we are living in the trees. I spend a lot of my home time, looking out those windows. They inspire my thinking, my writing, and my love of nature. Have to go now...time to look out the window and watch the snow melt!

  3. I too love the looking out windows & having the opportunity to apprecite the world outside. Your writing has me inspired to think about all the views I've seen out my windows! Thank you for that beautiful reminder.

  4. Your post made me remember many lovely gazing out the window moments, Alan, I had never thought about it before, but each memory contained something delightful and unexpected: Letting the outside in .... a window is the perfect metaphor for that, isn't it?!

  5. Alan, you take such a simple object, windows and create a thoughtful essay that prompts the readers to reflect and remember. That's magic. Thank you.

  6. How about the window in O Henry's The Last Leaf? That's another good one.

  7. Alan,
    What a great post. Windows are great portals. They can be both magical and mundane. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  8. I love how you wove together several stories to illustrate your point.

  9. Windows and light are a must. I remember I had my third grade in a basement classroom at my school. That year I was constantly sick--the teacher with her red hair and lipstick and loud voice didn't do anything for me either. Here's to windows everywhere!!


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