An open window is a two-way relationship.
I am quite aware of the sounds that find their way in to my house through my open doors and windows. In fact, truth be told, I can get a little annoyed that I am not living on a remote piece of land, unbothered by auditory clutter. But I just sometimes forget that some of me drifts out, too, to passersby.
“If your neighbor has wind chimes, you have wind chimes.” On my cousin’s FB timeline
These perfect, wide-open-window days and nights I hear things like:
The whistler. He lives across and down, a retired man, a gardener. His yard might be considered over-planted and a little too fussy with its’ stone deer and owls and whirligigs, but he provides us all with a dazzlingly array of flowers in shocking oranges and hot pinks only broken up by the perfectly coiffed green grass. His yard is tiny compared to ours, but he walks it, he tends it, he improves it and enjoys it. And he whistles, non-stop. He whistles from sun up to sun down. You are never unaware of his time outdoors, because. Whistling.
The doggies. I guess because I don’t have one now, I am more aware of the neighbor’s dogs. One comes outside and announces his presence. Down a few houses, another answers that he, too, is outside. Across the way a couple of pups excitedly get in on the conversation. Soon, from many directions, the dogs, in almost a chorus, yelp and bark and woof away for just a little while, catching up on the events of the day. Then, just as quickly as it started, it dies down. But they’ll gab over fences again soon, several times a day, without fail.
The birds are just delightful. I have a yard the birds love. At first light this morning, I pulled the curtains open to watch some blackbirds and robins searching for seeds in the cool morning grass. Some walk, some hop (**boing-boing-boing**).
A couple of stealthy squirrels were ambling down the neighbor’s roof-line, trying to wage a secret attack and eat whatever the birds had found first, but when they tried to shimmy down branches on a very young, supple tree, they fell 3 feet to the ground, ker-plunk! They were found out. The birds chirped some “I-don’t-think-so’s” their direction and went back to their search. Said squirrels scampered away.
I see the bunny, “Peter-Cottontale,” I call him. He first appeared the evening Sandy died, mourning with us. He munches on grass and co-exists with us. Every evening, as the sun is setting, I know he’ll be right there, just outside my window saying, “Yes, I miss Sandy, too.”
Through the open window, I hear the early birdsong and the all-day bird chatter. I hear a fly try to get through the screen, buzzzz-smack. Foiled. I hear the car horns toot, girls driving by a popular boy’s house across the street. Sirens in the offing. Conversations between neighbors are carried on the breeze. Children are playing on the sidewalks, lots of laughter, an occasional crying bout. Every morning a young dad and his two girls bicycle past, always talking excitedly, having genuine conversations. Then they come back on their way home, planning their day, enjoying each other. The mailman, heavy-footed stomping up, then down the stairs, talks loudly on his cellphone on my front porch. And passing cars with their windows rolled down “share” their music.
And what drifts out? I hope goodwill. I hope they aren’t annoyed that I sing all. the. time. I hope if they hear the song, they start singing, too. And I hope they don’t think badly of me for setting off the fire alarm several days in a row. I do hope they enjoy the wonderful smells coming from my kitchen. An open window is a two-way relationship. It’s good to remember this.
Is it sacrilegious to question this?
You know how everyone always says, “When God closes a door He opens a window?” It’s usually to try to placate us when something hasn’t worked out like we thought it would or when times are hard. But I’m not a fan of it. I think God knows I have a bad knee and climbing through a window would be risky. Plus, He doesn’t seem to be the type running around closing doors and locking them on people. He said Come, knock, the door will be opened to you. Not Ha-gotcha! Go find a little window to jump through! I mean, I might do that. But not God. Pretty sure.
I’ll just try the back door, thank-you very much. Or maybe just remember to knock and wait for Him to open it.
I did climb through a window once, though.
I did. I climbed out a window to go see a boy. I was 16 and *gloriously stupid.* I told my sister to leave the window cracked. I’d know my parents had discovered my absence if it was closed when I returned and I’d have to come in the front door and it wouldn’t be pretty. So, I went. I saw him and it was uneventful and certainly not worth the risk.
I came back and the window was closed tight. Closed! Dread, panic, doom, gloom…I felt nauseated, a rush of blood to my head, the tingle of hyperventilating stinging my face in chaotic patterns (having just run a mile home in the dark; see “*gloriously stupid*” above), scared-stiff! I pondered my options. Heart pounding, I tapped very lightly on the window, once, then twice, again…finally, my little sister got up, groggily, and opened the window. “Do mom and dad know I left?” I asked anxiously.
“No,” she whispered, “I just got cold.”
O-m-gee!!! I couldn’t be mad because she was keeping my secret, but geez! Even now, at fifty-something, I hope my dad doesn’t see this blog post!
A scripture about an open window, but not the one you’re thinking:
“We met on Sunday to worship and celebrate the Master’s Supper. Paul addressed the congregation. Our plan was to leave first thing in the morning, but Paul talked on, way past midnight. We were meeting in a well-lighted upper room. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in an open window. As Paul went on and on, Eutychus fell sound asleep and toppled out the third-story window. When they picked him up, he was dead.” – Acts 20.7-9
I know you were expecting the tithing scripture from Malachi 3 about not robbing God and then He will open the windows of heaven. But I thought this story from Acts was fun and different. Ends well, btw. Go. Read!
Open your windows! I suggest:
Let in the sweet spring air and the bright, lingering light. Hear the neighbor’s mowers and dogs and children. Speak a blessing out those same windows, let what drifts through your windows out to the world be good and godly, life-giving and love-filled. Think of the possibilities!