Sunday, March 6, 2016

Any Window

It's another sunny afternoon and, once again, I'm sitting by a window.  I love to look out a window, any window, anywhere.  It frames the sky; it frames time; it frames life.  Books do that for us, too.

Today I was remembering the windows at Fitzhugh Hall.  I lived in the same corner room there for  the five semesters I attended Belhaven.  Fitzhugh was an older building (late 1800's) that had seen its share of troubles, including a fire that destroyed it's connection with the other half of the building.  Rather than tear both halves down, they were simply re-styled into two halls (the other was called Preston) with columns and a lagoon in between.  Times have changed and, if I understand rightly, my old dorm isn't a dorm any longer.  That's a shame; I'd like to think of others still enjoying that room as I once did.

My corner of Fitzhugh overlooked the cafeteria and the library--windows that faced North and West.  The ceiling was very high, perhaps 12 feet, and the windows were surely 8 feet high.  One of the great pleasures of my life was to curl up on my bed underneath those windows and spend all of the long Sunday afternoons reading in the sunshine--books of scholarship, books just for the fun of it.  It's a good memory to treasure.

I'd rather not dwell on the sad side:  it was during my final spring at Fitzhugh that I lost my health, that soon afterward I actually forgot how to read and had to teach myself all over again.  It's something no one could have foreseen and something I could never have imagined battling still decades later in another spring by another sunny window with another bout of illness.

It's better by far to remember the good stuff.  I think I'll go read a book because, truly, I'm grateful that I can.

My window is the one at the top right.

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