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Life From A Window: # 2 in an occasional series


I’ve been working out of the upper floor office in our new house for almost three months now, and have endured some serious mid-summer heat and a few days and nights of considerable cold. Throughout, life from a window has generally stayed the same, the trees out front of the house providing such a tall canopy that they prevent me seeing much further.

But now it’s autumn, the trees are rapidly losing their leaves, and as they do so, the mountain range opens up behind them. We got lucky with the placement of our house: the narrow ridge that was the only easy place to build coincided with a view into the valley, which coincided with the exact placement of the house on the magnetic compass so to maximize solar gain. (193 degrees South South West, in case you were wondering.) So as I type these words in the peak hour of a perfect fall day – the sun unobstructed by clouds as it sits just above the tree tops, casting warmth but not oppressive heat – I can just start to make out the V-shape of the Valley behind the molting trees and, rising perfectly behind that valley it as if mapped on a computer, the inverted V of a further, distant mountain – Cornell, so I am told. There’s barely a sound to be heard: the occasional rustle of leaves in the light breeze, a bird squawaking as it flies across the trees, the very distant rumble of traffic. There’s none of the gunfire I heard from higher up the mountain this weekend that signified hunting season, nor any sound of the prey I wouldn’t complain if they caught: specifically, the coyotes that we assumed had eaten our cat when he disappeared for almost a full week. The cat, fortunately, appears to have learned his lesson, and has stayed very close by the house since coming back; he’s sunbathing on the deck as I type.

Life from a window, I’m taking in the view…

All in all, it’s the type of day you worry you won’t see again the spring, and the temptation to get up, leave the work behind and go make the most of it by bike or by foot is overwhelming. So I’ve done second best: I’ve bought my reference books and my laptop out onto the deck to join the cat. This way, I can make out like I’m working while enjoying country living. I think the CMJ Music Marathon is taking place down in the City. It seems an awfully long ways away.

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