The Window

The Window

Christine Brant

I hated the house.

As I entered I wanted to cry. The rest of the family spent hours studying pictures before the move, I refused to look, sneaking only glances. Constructing in my mind what I thought the house would be. Reality rudely intruded on my imagination. It smelled of disuse and emptiness, cold trailed my steps. This was my new kingdom?

Disbelief grew with each new room I inspected. I traveled up narrow stairs. My body brushed the door frame as I entered the room on the top floor. Here I caught my first glimpse of the window. The too long curtain lay on the floor. Plush carpet hushed my footsteps as I padded across the cavernous space. The temptation of sunlight around the edges of the curtain drew me in despite my mistrust.

Old glass nested in a painted wood frame behind the curtain. As I moved between the two dust stirred and I sneezed. The door clicked shut behind me; I was alone in this yawning space. I allowed a cry to escape. How could this happen? How could my hopes go so wrong?

I turned my gaze out the window; it sat so close to the floor I didn’t have to shift position. Awe infused me. I could see forever. Windows in our old home showed one thing. More houses each one the same. Here though…

Mountains loomed furthest from my view. White tips visible over the rough edges of trees; they reached for the sky. Clouds journeyed through the expanse of blue shaping and remaking their form as they traveled; giant cotton balls waiting to be captured.

Closer, through a divide of trees, bare in the late winter sun, light sparkled and glinted off water. The illusions created by the skipping light had me moving to catch the dancing mirage, and then retreating back. Sitting still and gazing out again at the enormous variety that met my gaze. Trees filled every open space some naked of their summer glory, others clothed all year in needles. They towered between and above the houses.

I was amazed by the number of roofs I could see from my perch. Birds and squirrels moved from trees to housetop, I looked down on it all. It was empowering.

Not just the height but also the breadth, there was so much to see. In our old neighborhood everything sat in neat tidy rows. Here the landscape lay loose and scattered. Houses half hid behind trees, peeped out from bushes and appeared around the bend of hills. I could see them all, below me.

I relaxed; sun warmed me through the glass. My soft cries shifted into a rumbling purr. Sitting, hidden from the emptiness of the room by the curtain, I tucked my tail around my paws. I watched a blackbird perch on the eves of the roof across from my new throne. The tip of my tail twitched. I was home.

This was my new Kingdom.