Out of the window, a full view of the sky gives hints of the time of day, the weather and seasons of the year. It definitely is a mood changer; clear blue skies cheer me up, white clouds may form characters in my creative mind; and dark clouds give a sense of foreboding and a pending storm with thunder and lightning.
The sunrises and sunsets usher in mornings and evenings (another day done and promises of a new day). And, the year 2020 brought smoke filled skies from forest fires, hopefully to never be seen again. It also brought a lockdown due to the pandemic.
A writer, residing in an assisted living unit, sits by his third-floor window and absorbs the borrowed scenery.
A hill, a short distance away, dressed in evergreen Douglas firs, that remain quiet until a small breeze wiggles their tops. Numerous sizes and types of deciduous trees wander down and away from the hill. They are in the process of circling their changes.
These trees began the year naked, then the growth from birth of leaves to full grown, and now, painting the hillside with multicolored leaves, being supported by the wind; they float about like butterflies. Now the trees are creeping back into their winter nakedness,
Viewing the countryside through my picture window is different from a car window. The car window is clear. But, my window has crosspieces, creating actually a bunch of small windows with a screen covering them. However I am thankful to have a view and occasionally fresh air.
A busy avenue separates us from the hill. The property to the right belongs to the county. It houses equipment and supplies for parks. Many vehicles pick up and return equipment, during the day.
To the left are two brown rooftops, with three levels of windows identical to mine below. At first glance one might think they are prison bars or to keep the tenants from jumping out. After dark it is not difficult to see which room has called it a day.
I am fortunate to have a room where the window offers daily activity. The entry road and parking area are below on the right next to the county property. The road allows supply trucks, such as Sysco (pre-cooked meals), Farmers Coffee, produce, and others, to keep our meals going; and too often, a family picking up furniture from a tenant who is either moving or has passed away.
Trash bins are emptied into an enormous truck. Employees are coming and going as shifts change. The speed of the car, and of the employee walking into the building verifies if they are late to work.
Directly below my window is the constantly busy trash area. It is walled in and has four huge metal bins with never used tops. Day and night vehicles drive in to unload trash and see how much racket they can make.
During daylight, my window offers a view of wildlife as crows circle the trash area for a safe opening. Then they dive down and enjoy a feast. Squirrels occasionally help themselves, too, when the crows have had their fill and allow it.
My building is in lock down, any resident who walks the path around our building is from one of the other buildings. They sometimes walk in pairs, alone, or with a dog. I frequently see the same woman who allows her dog to do its business, and they continue walking. She has something hanging from her pocket. I thought it is a bag for the dog-doo. It turns out to be her facemask she probably should be wearing.
My confinement has been the past 8 months. I was in the combat zone in Korea for 9 months. In both cases, not knowing if, or when, they might end. Finding borrowed scenery of God's creation through my window fills me with hope and happiness.
My room and care are a blessing; something that a large portion of the world does not have.
As I sit at my window, look out and think a minute, I realize I am not alone. God is beside me and love is in the room.
Fred Benton is a member of the Jottings Group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.
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