Room with a view
When I returned to work this afternoon it was sprinkling lightly and, as my workroom has no window, I had no idea what was going on outside.
At the end of the day, I went outside again and saw leaves, twigs and branches all over the ground. I must have missed quite a storm.
For 11 years, until just a few months ago, I worked in an office on the second floor with big windows looking east and south.
I saw the sky, sunrises, the clouds, occasionally the moon, flocks of geese, rain, snow, hail, people walking up and down an alley (one young women pulled out and lit a cigarette at the same spot every time), bodies being delivered to a funeral home, folks coming to funerals, supervisors watching paint dry after a parking lot had been striped, and I even saw a few car accidents at an intersection at the bottom of a steep hill.
Did I just sit there and look out those big windows? No, most of what I saw was while talking on the phone. But don't worry, I got plenty of work done. I worked in a pleasant atmosphere. No complaints. I still work in a pleasant atmosphere because of the people I work with, but there are no windows back where I am.
It would have been grim to be a cave man -- I've never heard of a cave with a window. Even centuries later, the first pioneers coming to this area from Europe were living in sod huts that either had no windows or tiny ones. The winters must have seemed eternal. It's just as cold today, but when the sun shines through our double and triple pane windows we are not only warmed physically, but our spirits are boosted. It's the miracle of the sun -- shining through a window.
A couple generations ago, our business buildings were all stone, concrete and steel -- mostly stone and concrete.
Over the years more and more glass has been added -- and the buildings are going higher. Some have so much glass they're called "see through" buildings -- attractive from both the inside and the outside. The interiors of many of these buildings have glass walls from floor to ceiling.
The world is getting smaller -- more people every day. If you want to punish somebody, lock them in a small room with bars, but no windows. That's jail. Put in windows and you have immediately taken the harsh edge from the punishment.
Remember our last energy crunch, when lots of school windows were covered, boarded over or reduced in size to diminish the cost of heating? The schools looked like prisons. Later, with better technology, the windows became bigger again. This is only a guess, but don't you suppose both student and teacher morale rose as more light came into the classrooms?
The message is clear. To brighten your life and your disposition, sit by a window. You'll not only be more cheerful, you'll know what's going on outside.