Window To The World

by Stefani on 29-August-2007


When I was younger, say maybe 12, I liked to ride my bike just after dark. My parents were the loving sort, so they, of course, thought a young girl riding around after dark was maybe not the brightest idea. Sometimes though, if I asked at just the right moment, when they were engrossed in, say preparing their taxes, and hadn’t noticed the hour, I’d get to go for a night ride.

I can remember that I would start out riding as fast and furious as my legs could manage. My chest would be burning from the cold air, my hair waving behind me like a banner, my ears feeling full of cotton, but really just full of rushing wind.

I liked to look up at the stars and imagine them as pin pricks through a giant piece of black construction paper. I wondered about the eyes that could be peeking through those holes.

Eventually, my legs would wear out, and I would slow to a crawl, maybe even hop off the bike and walk alongside it.

I think this was the genesis of my love of windows. I can remember being fascinated by all the lit rectangles of my neighbor’s homes. I wondered who was having ice cream and watching the television in their pajamas, who was waiting for whom, who was neglecting the dishes, and who was already dreaming in the recliner.

I still love me a lit window, mostly, I love the way they bring back my childhood rides.

Molly August 29, 2007 at 8:43 pm

I recall staying in a house by the beach when I was about 11 and walking past other beach houses after dark. It was cool and foggy, perfect summer weather at the beach. One window was lit by a strand of white christmas lights from inside. I still think about that window on a regular basis.

Sarah Jackson August 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm

I love going for walks at night and seeing glimpses of the lives inside other houses through the windows – dinners being cooked, the art on the walls, the lamp in the window. When I had windows that looked out onto the street, I arranged everything and then went outside to make sure that it was pleasing from the sidewalk. I always knew that the watching went both ways. I didn’t have your bike riding experience – my parents were too aware of the dangers. I’m a little envious.

brit August 30, 2007 at 5:55 am

the summers of my 15 and 20 year old self I spent at the Shore working at my Aunt and Uncle’s gift shop. They closed after dark and I would ride my bike home every night along dark streets under the stars and moon.

No matter how many summers of my life I’ve spent with my aunt and uncle at the shore those bike rides seem to be what define those summers for me.

The freedom of moving under your own power. Under the disguise of darkness when you could be anyone but an awkward teenage girl? Priceless

Jade August 30, 2007 at 8:49 am

Since Fall is on it’s way, and it’s my favorite time of year, your post made me reflect on my window watching as well. I also live in the Austin area and although it doesn’t get very cold here it’s still nice to see families together during the holidays. If only it would snow…

erin August 30, 2007 at 1:35 pm

i am such a window watcher. it fascinates me to get a peek in to other houses….you know, how it’s decorated, what kind of furniture they have, etc.

cloth.paper.string August 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm

i have goosebumps.

i loved riding bikes in the dark as a kid too. such a rush. i remember the moon too and the inky darkness of the woods.

and i too have grown up to be a window watcher. while i’ve recently been sad to see the days getting shorter i am now reminded of the evening walks with the dog through the neighborhoods peeking in on and wondering about the coziness behind the windows.

thank you, thank you for such a lovely post. be well, sarah

kristin August 30, 2007 at 5:45 pm

do you know that i love to walk in the eve when homes are lit and still active? i could have written this post…

Katie Huggins August 30, 2007 at 7:04 pm

this is beautiful i too love to walk when the moon is bright and all you see is the glow of windows and doors.

Molly August 31, 2007 at 10:12 am

I’m like that too! I always am curious about what is going on behind the curtains… and now that I live in the city in which I teach, I am going to have to be more careful about closing mine up at night. So sad.

PS: Love the image!

beki August 31, 2007 at 11:19 am

I love how you described that, it really brought back images and felings frommy childhood. Strolling at dark is still my favorite time to be out.

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