Friday, November 07, 2008


In an infrequent moment of reflection this morning, I realized that I've developed a closer relationship with sunlight in recent years. I'm more aware of the quality of the light and how it changes throughout the year in this house than in any other house in which I've lived.

Our front door faces west, and to the east we have a wall of glass doors that stretches maybe thirty feet across. In the summer, the light and heat on the west side of the house is so intense that the outside of the (black) door becomes too hot to touch, and we have to keep all of the curtains and blinds drawn if we want to maintain any semblance of cooler temperatures inside. This always saddens me, as I prefer my living space full of light and warmth.

The earth can become truly scorched out front, too - any plants require daily watering, and I often refuse to offer it. By the middle of the summer, there's just a brown field in front of my house, with a smaller green patch closer to the house itself.

The back yard, with the milder morning sun, can stay green longer. I do water the lawn occasionally, usually in preparation for some sort of gathering like a party for my late-summer-birthday girls, or a neighborhood barbecue. I have more potted plants back there, which benefit from my being able to see them at all times from the house, and thus getting guilted into caring for them.

The light into the house from the back windows and doors is always lovely, but as fall approached winter, it gets lovelier still, and I can find a patch of it and sit and read for hours. The indoor plants get even happier in these cooler months, and I open all of the curtains and blinds and revel in the open feeling they engender.

We've only lived here three years, but I think of the previous owner, who spent forty years in this house, and imagine that she must mourn watching the passing of the days from this still and quiet vantage point.

Of course, with the clouds of smoke billowing around her at all times, she may not have even noticed.


peevish said...

I like this post. I, too, am a person who notices and appreciates (ok, craves) natural light in my house. I realize that we really need some heavy curtains in the cold months, to keep the house warm. But I'm loathe to block any view of the trees, and sky, and light. And so I wear hats and scarves and sweaters while I bask at the breakfast table.

Krispy said...

I also love this post. Am a little excited because it is the first year in this house and the light and the windows feel so different than across the street. The air too. Old house I could open 3 windows and air out the entire house. New house I have to pick and chose the windows.