Reading the latest Art of Noticing email from Rob Walker, I’ve been thinking about my office window this morning. It’s not that the view is all that impressive, but there’s some interesting stuff that happens out there occasionally.
My working life has consisted of two kinds of workplaces: those with windows and those without. Warehouse and bulk mail printer? No windows to speak of except for the odd time when we’d open the loading dock door. Travel club? That’s a yes and no since I had a cubicle for awhile and then moved on to a desk with a window overlooking the parking lot. My jobs with the housekeeping department in college? Another mixture, because sometimes I was stuck in a dank garage and others I was cleaning the windows.
Now, working from home, I’ve made sure that I have a window.
But it’s actually been a couple different windows. My first home office is now my daughter’s room and the view to my left was looking over the street. Then I moved to our three season porch, which was nice because I had windows all around me… until we hit that fourth season of the year and it was bone-chilling cold.
I’m downstairs now and stand a bit below ground level, so my window is almost a worm’s eye view of the world. It looks out over a portion of our side yard that used to be a dog pen with a big pine tree, a fence in danger of falling down at the next stiff breeze, and then a street that borders the side of our property.
Remarkably, a lot goes on out there.
All manner of squirrels and birds have passed by. When it’s warm enough for the window to be open, I get a front row seat to chipmunks chirping at each other. Sometimes, I even get voyeurs. A couple weeks ago, I looked over to see a fluffy brown and black cat staring intently in at me. That didn’t startle me nearly as much as when I’ve had chipmunks hanging off the metal screen, looking in at me, with their fuzzy belly moving quickly with each breath.
It’s not National Geographic or a scenic vista, but I’ll take it.