ERMA's desk...: The real windows of the world

Many of us today are preoccupied by Windows. 

Erma takes a closer look at the windows of our world, windows which are greater portals than Microsoft’s electronic Windows.

The mind is like a radar and a driver for the activities in which we are engaged. The mind can get crowded and one of the ways we clear the mind is to do a variety of things to keep life interesting. Reading, shopping, planning a party or looking through a window with no set agenda are among the simple things we do to make life interesting. A change of scenery produces a change of thought. In relationship to children and windows, it is obvious, especially when they are visiting new places, such as buildings, family homes, school buses and aeroplanes. When we observe children interaction when they are sitting/standing by a window it appears adventurous. It gives a sense that the child who has the window seat has more power, more leverage and more control. It could be just the appearance, but when the child reacts with excitement about “whatever” he/she just observed most of the other children rush toward the window to get a glimpse of what it was.

One of the factors as to “why” children are drawn to windows may be that they are growing and discovering the world around them. Their thoughts shape their lives and they are always looking for the next thing in which to engage. In the mind of most children, the world is not on the inside of them, rather it is on the outside. The window hold promises of what is possible what they can engage, once they get on the other side of the window. When they see an open field, they want to play sports, fly a kite, jump into the rain puddles, climb the trees out there, pick the berries from the fantasy fields or simply join the other children out there playing.

Some adults want to have that same child’s window view. It is most evident when they are vacationing and out on a sightseeing tour. However, adults are often pre-occupied with the next item on life’s agenda. They engage in sightseeing if they book a trip to go to a place of interest, or if they get away from the city for a long weekend, and there is not much more to compete with the sights and sounds of nature. We are all explorers. We all wonder what is on the outside of our immediate environment which means we are never complete. There has to be more to life than what is presented in the sphere of our physical existence. There has to be a greater dimension than what our vision sees.

Both children and adults have the innate desire for more interaction with their environment. For children, even with the availability of hand held entertainment gadgets, with an endless amount of games at their fingertips, most of them still want to see the outside world. Adults are a bit different but if we observe children and their attraction to windows we will see ourselves in them, as younger people, when childhood was simple and a visit to the grandparents’ house was a treat because you can look out and see different children whom you wanted to befriend.

In an adult world, we are likely to look through a window and we may or may not have any thoughts. Not so for most children, the wheels are usually turning and they are thinking about something beyond the window. Adults sometimes use the window view to escape thoughts on the inside. Adults feel and experience the world in a very different way. Adults are concerned about the affairs of the community, neighbourhood, the country and the world. There is a connection between the adult inner world and the physical space they occupy. The interplay of both is often a reason why adults will stare/stand by a window with or without purpose. For most adults standing by the window is a personal moment where they can think freely knowing that they don’t necessarily have to share those thoughts with others in their immediate space.

Most adults when they visit friends in the summer are not curious about what’s on the inside. If we were on the inside having ice tea, and conversation the atmosphere would improve if the homeowner opens the blinds. It is the explorer in us that wants to enjoy all that is possible in that moment. In our minds, the ambience is not quite right until the curtains are drawn and all is in view.

Individuals in residential facilities when given the opportunity, will more likely choose a view, a bed by the window. It is true to the young or the old that closed or confined spaces tame or caged the spirit, the emotion, curiosity and/or creativity. Children cannot thrive in confined space so they are drawn to windows to set their spirits free. They desire to go outside and mingle with nature, bugs, blades of grass, play and pick flowers. Sometimes they will choose these activities over having something to eat. No matter what is happening on the inside they feel better knowing what the outside looks and feels like.

We are all children in some ways and we will enjoy those aspects of our humanity as long as possible. A window can give a perspective, good or bad, or is it just an object that creates an illusion of a separation from the physical, and at the same time provides a panoramic view of the physical world around us? Windows have many benefits allowing us to free our spirits and our imaginations untamed, allowing dreams and reality to interact quietly and uninterrupted. Windows have huge significance to the appearance and beauty of a structure and tell a story of the outside. Windows are like a mirror of life allowing us to engage in a reflection of “our own lives”, with truth meeting reality empowering us all. When you think of windows in the world of adults, children and pets to name a few, let it be a reminder that the clearer the glass, the greater the view, the brighter the vision. Children are visionaries and that is why they are drawn to a broader view than just the space they occupy.

Erma Washington

July 26th, 2017


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