I couldn’t believe it. I’d cleaned the damned things, just the day before, but the windows at the side of the house were once again festooned with cobwebs. Not only that, but at first glance and before my first coffee, they looked filthy. I was not best pleased.
Cleaning windows has never been my favourite job. No matter what I use, there is always a streak or a haze, corners I’ve missed or fluff left behind… and my little flat has a lot of windows for its size, streaming light onto every speck of dust that settles. Not only that, but arthritis and window-cleaning do not work well together.
Granted, the windows are all now within reach…no more dangling precariously out of upper floors in an attempt to clean glass in frames designed by some warped and evil mind. At least these days, I only need a step-stool to reach the top corners and anyone not quite so vertically challenged would be able to clean them with ease.
I sipped my coffee in the kitchen eyeing the windows with distaste. It wasn’t until I opened the garden doors for Ani that it occurred to me that the ‘filth’ was probably moisture. She bounded out, laughing, into a morning cocooned in golden mist rising from the fields. The grass was heavy with dew that sparkled as soft light streamed in, illuminating my little home.
The first rays of the newly-freed sun slanted horizontally through the window, touching the plant a visiting friend had brought me and drawing an answering gleam of gold from the little yellow flowers. I smiled. As always, a small shift in perspective, this time caffeine-induced, shows things in a very different light.
Caffeine has its uses… my world is a much better place after coffee. The sun was starting to break through as I wandered back to the kitchen in search of a second dose and glanced again at the offending window. The cobweb was on the outside… I could live with that… and the ‘dirt’ was indeed moisture that was catching the sun and shimmering as I moved, changing my visual perspective and seeing the light running through the silken threads of the web.
What had been, a few minutes earlier, an annoyance, was now a thing of beauty and wonder. How often, I thought, is that the case… that it takes only a step away from a perceived problem to see it instead as a gift? If I hadn’t tackled the detested and painful job of window-cleaning, I would have ignored the cobweb. If I hadn’t looked with frustration at the pane, I would not have seen the play of morning light. If dirty windows didn’t matter, I would never have caught a rainbow.