My Neighbors Window

My feet slid from the sheets of my bed and found themselves warmed by the soft slippers quietly awaiting them on the floor. Deep morning breaths filled me with coffee and pancakes and bacon and eggs. A body well loved seemingly floats from the chamber into a light filled abode. Beauty smiles at me from the sink, lovingly preparing a pre-day feast. Domestic beasts frolic beneath the kitchen table, knowing only peace and comfort. Upon consuming the splendor, a gaze through the window reveals an expanse of green fields, blue skies, playful clouds, and sparkling streams. The glory of the day is boundless. As my eye wanders across the glass pane, my neighbor’s home seems but a speck beyond the reach of lush fields and dancing butterflies. I think I will pay my neighbor a visit today, it has been too long.

As I near their home the scent of sweet nectar fades, the grass browns, the sky darkens. Splintered doors creak as my good friend and neighbor opens his house to greet me. He perceives concern on my face, but disregards it and offers warm welcomes. This abode stands quite different from my own, no pancakes no bacon no coffee no smiling beauty. There is no chair in his living room; light streams in from a porous roof. His window is filthy around the edges; the center seems to have been polished with what might have been a dusty cloth. Upon consuming my neighbor’s home, a gaze through his window reveals an expanse of dusty planes, decrepit trees, animal bones, idling crows, and gray skies. Such a stark contrast to my view, a feeling of deep despair and pity sunk in as I considered his life. There was no dancing, no butterflies. I feel sad for my neighbor, who seems to be without. My gaze pulled from the window, lump adhered to my throat. Without realizing, he had stepped to my side and was peering through the dust laden glass. Inhaling deeply as he looked, he smiled warmly. “Isn’t it beautiful?” He asked, deep content resonating in his voice. It was incomprehensible, did we not both peer through the same window? Does he not see dusty fields, animal bones, and tortured trees? How could he find beauty? My face betrayed my inner thoughts and his smile broadened. His words were confident and steady, “You have visited me and you have looked through my window, dear neighbor, but when you gaze through my glass you are gazing with your eyes… not my eyes. My smiling beauty has left me, as have my coffee my bacon my pancakes and my domesticated beasts… but their love has not left me, and when I take in the world beyond my glass… the trees are standing, the dust is settled, the sky is open, the bones are dancing and it is beautiful.”

When I returned to my home, a smiling beauty looked at me and lovingly offered a kiss. If I lost my smiling beauty, would I also lose my lush fields and dancing butterflies? Would I lose the fire of our love? No, I do not lament for my neighbor, nor do I wish him to change his fire that still burns brightly. His fields are not the same color as mine, but they are cherished by him just the same.

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