Tuesday, November 11, 2014
We have no special site for our home. We live in a modest townhouse complex amid comfortable single family homes in a suburban neighborhood in northern Virginia, the neighborhood being part of a growing county, and the county being part of the expanding metropolitan area around Washington, D.C. There seems no end of people, buildings, vehicles, and roads. Our home itself is at one end of a set of several townhouses, with other sets of townhouses close by, making up our little community within a larger, then that within a larger. The back of our home faces east; the front faces west; and the side which is the end of the unit faces south. Toward these three exposures we have ample windows. Just beyond our back doors and windows is a screen about five yards deep of trees and shrubs between us and the grounds of a day school for young children. There tulip poplars, beech, big tooth aspen, and hollies provide all manner of greens, yellows, and bare gray trunks and branches through the months. Then just beyond our front door and windows, along the townhouse complex's streets and parking areas and here and there in the little yards, is a scattering of maples, cherries, and oaks; and so more greens, yellows, and grays, as well as pinks and reds and browns, through the year. In all seasons, during the course of the days, especially when more sun and blue than clouds in the sky, both outside and inside we enjoy much light rising early in the back, moving in fullness around the side, and setting late in the front. We have no special site. Yet we do have these quanta of filtered light, exterior and interior, texturing with splendor the hours and days, the ordinary, if only we see.