When we moved into our house five years ago, I knew it was the right house for us but I wasn’t sure how long for.
It is a tall town house, over four floors.
On the landing from the first to the second floor there is a window. I didn't pay attention to it at first, it is just another window.
The reason I wasn’t sure about the house was that we moved in five weeks before our son was born and while both the children’s rooms were the same size, I wasn’t sure how it would work with his room being on the floor above ours. Our daughter was two, and as our son, when he arrived, would be in our room for a few months we thought we’d cross that bridge when we needed to. When we did, we needn’t have worried, it all worked out well.
Being over four floors, our house has a lot of stairs and this brings me to the window.
The window is at the top of a flight of stairs, slightly to the left so it doesn’t fully reveal itself until you reach the top and turn to face it. This is why it has such impact.
Last night, not for the first time I physically gasped when I looked through it. I was presented with a gentle sunset filled with a murmuration of starlings performing a spectacular ballet across the sky. I stood transfixed until I’d forgotten what it was I went up there for and realised that this window has given me so many gifts.
It got me thinking about all the other times I’d been wowed by that window.
One night when my son was a baby, I was waiting for him to finally go to sleep, exhausted at three in the morning. Sitting on the stairs outside his room I was mesmerised by the most full and beautiful moon. In my tired state I soaked it up and communed with it until my little boy slept and I could tiptoe down to my own bed and try and sleep before my daughter got up.
Before Christmas my children picked up every bug going from school and gave it to the other one. Each time I thought we were over something, one of them came down with something else. After six weeks of this and wondering when it was going to stop, we were all pretty frazzled. One Thursday morning I trudged up to my son’s room, wondering if either of the children might be well enough for school and I was stopped in my tracks by the window:
Everything sparkled white and the sky was the deepest most glorious blue of not quite dawn yet. I stopped and drank in the sky; the surprise snow carpeted the rooftops and gardens and I felt the collective spirit of the household lift, despite being the only one up. One mention of the magic word ‘snow’ had the children leaping out of bed, both keen to go to school.
There have been many other moments of wonder through this window that have me running down the stairs for my camera. It has a habit of presenting beauty to me in a way that I feel privileged to be party to. I have a unique view that nobody else can see and I love it.
When we first viewed the house five years ago, I had no idea that such an inconspicuous looking window would have so many treats in store for me. It has taught me to stop and slow down, to appreciate the unpredictability of life and the beauty that is right in front of us when we take the time to notice it.