Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Window at the End of the Hall

At the end of the hall in an old country home is a window that rarely gets used. It faces an old apple tree and barren hills beyond, so the view draws no interest from anyone. It only gets cleaned a couple of times a year when the lady of the house does her whole-house scrub down and comments on the amount of dust built up since last time. The curtains are a drab color, matching the rest of the hallway and adding to the obscurity of the window when visitors stay overnight in the guest room. It was broken once, when one of the boys of the house was batting stones with a stick, and its glass was promptly replaced and forgotten. The other windows in the house look out on the yard where children play, or face toward the barn and all the animals, or show the long lane where many visitors still come and go. The hall window is a very uninteresting window indeed, if you were to ask any of the house's occupants. Were you to ask the window how it thought of itself you might get another opinion. It might tell you of all the times when the children were punished by being sent to the corner nearby, and all the angry mutterings that were overheard. Or the time when the oldest daughter spent all day leaning on its sill, sobbing from a broken heart, or the years, long gone now, when the children used to decorate it for the holidays. The time the hot air balloon landed on a hilltop just within sight through its top pane and all the family had pushed for the best view. It might mention the three times the mother sat in front of it, staring absently at the apple tree, to get away from the crowd of mourners who gathered downstairs, first for her son- killed in a farming accident, then her father whose time had come, then later on her husband - that time she'd spent two whole days with her face pressed against the glass.
The window at the end of the hall... dusty, dull, forgotten, but keeping precious memories of the home safely guarded within its aging frame.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hi Tim,

love the imagery in this piece! I could see this being written as a children't story (like Shel Silverstein) or as a part of a longer meditation. Hope you're having a great weekend!

11:34 AM  

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