One of my favorite things about my little cottage is the view from my kitchen window. It’s a double window that faces east-southeast, so, on the days when I rise early enough, I’m treated to some glorious sunrises. Since I live in the city, in an older neighborhood with lots of sixty- and seventy-foot trees, this sort of view is not necessarily a given, because the tree canopy often blocks it.
Luckily, the space between my neighbor’s house and mine stretches for about 100 feet and contains no trees, so the only thing between me and the sunrise is the grouping of trees beyond his house, which embrace and define the view, especially in winter when the trees are bare. Not only do I get to watch breathtaking sunrises, but I also have a front row seat to endless cloud formations, storms, and snowfall.
I also have a great view of the moon. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I’ll go into the kitchen and just stand at the window looking at the moon. It comforts me somehow, and I often return to my bed becalmed and able to drop off again.
One night a few weeks ago, when the moon was full, I put on my jacket and went outside to have a better look. I wish I’d had a camera that could have taken a night shot, because at that moment, on that night, the moon was perfectly framed in a heart-shaped opening in the branches of one of the trees. It was magical.
Author Alexandra Stoddard devoted a chapter of Feeling at Home to “Fifteen Essential Elements of Emotional Comfort at Home,” and one of the elements that she listed was a view. I didn’t really think much about it at the time, because I had wonderful views from my home. However, a few years later, when I moved to Richmond and rented a house for a year, I realized how much a view meant to me. Because the houses in the neighborhood were so close together and because of the placement of the trees in the yard, I didn’t really have a view. I was surprised to discover how closed-in I felt living there.
So when I moved into my new home, I was thrilled with my view, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. Looking out at the trees and the expanse of sky, I smile and breathe a little more deeply. My mood always lifts, and I’m grateful for this simple daily joy.