Updated: Aug 23
I've spent an incredible amount of time at our kitchen window. As I recall, I came by this from observing my Mom and my Grandma doing the same. Grandma insisted on she and she alone washing and drying her precious china dishes given to her by her son, my uncle while gazing out her kitchen window after Holiday meals. She rescued and cared for an injured robin that landed at her kitchen window and insisted that the same robin returned each year. It did eat out of her hand each spring. My Mom had a view of our back yard from her kitchen window where she would watch summer storms come in and lightening blaze across the sky. She watched me on our swingset and the time I flew off of the swing landing in the middle of the yard with a broken arm.
My current view from this kitchen window is more of our side yard with views of the woods which extend well beyond our property. The rambling creek is visible with my favorite tree, a weeping willow stretching high as its branches drop low almost skimming the water. Beyond the creek sits our neighbor's home whose property continues up a steep hill where deer cautiously navigate the terrain spotted with trees and brush. A housing develpment sits at the top of the hill providing sound of civilazation to our valley below. In addition to deer, turkey cross this shallow creek where small fish, ducks and snakes reside. Great Blue Herons visit snatching the small fish or stalking a mouse at the edge of the woods.
The Pennsylvania seasons do not disappoint with full trees of green in the Spring. Chirps and tweets can be heard from nests of blue jays, cardinals, robins, woodpeckers and more. Squirrels and chipmunks rush through the burned out grass on their way to the coolness of the shade in the heat of the summer. Giant leaves from oaks and maples drift through the sky refusing to land as the cooler autumn air arrives. And, winter does not disappoint with its fresh coating of snow waiting for the deer and turkey to strike a path through.
The kitchen window is not only for its views and chances of discovery. In that window is a reflection that allows my mind a chance to reflect. I'm looking out but not seeing beyond the glass. That window has witnessed my times of quiet joy, thoughful sadness and raging anger. Times of stress and periods of disappointment have melted to relaxation and realization that time heals and that although it feels like it is standing still, it keeps on. The view aids in this relaxation; nature always does.
This chore completes without realizing at that window and like my Grandma and my Mom, I often insist on doing the dishes. Not because the dishes are precious to me, not because I thought my kids did not need to learn the value of chores but because I value that time to be active with something mindless while I allow my mind to heal, to recover and to relax from the stresses of the moment. And, maybe that is what Grandma and Mom were doing too.