Sometimes I drive around Oak Ridge, studying the old cemesto houses, looking for original windows. There aren’t many left. I still love the original casement windows with their thin, wavy glass panes opening out like sails on a ship.
I remember the delicious currents of air that used to blow through the house when I was a little girl, lifting filmy white organdy curtains that danced in the breeze, weightless as ghosts. I remember the sounds that wafted through the open windows of our neighborhood: the whoosh of passing cars, the sputter of lawn mower engines, the buzz of insects and whistling bird song, the clatter and bang of myriad indoor and outdoor chores and the high pitched ring of children’s voices. And I still miss the way those open windows admitted the ordinary and intimate odors of life: cut grass, honey suckle, car exhaust, frying bacon, burning leaves, fertilizer, and rain evaporating on asphalt.
There was a time when WINDows did, in fact, open to let the wind in. But that was a long time ago, before air conditioning and heat pumps.
Now, I seldom see an open window, not in a house, a school, or even a passing car. Most of us live behind our closed doors and windows, sealed off from one another and our environments. Could the price of our temperature controlled comfort be a sense of isolation, a disconnection from each other and the rest of the world?
I wonder if the first step in dissipating an epidemic of social isolation might be as simple as opening some windows and letting a little fresh air in.
Photo taken from Grumpy Young Women blog spot (no attribution given)
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Be Well and Good Luck,