A blooming bed of orchids adorns the interior of the bay windows at the front of my grandmothers house. To me, they are an exhalation of life from a woman who raised three boys and supported six grandchildren, who combs auras over the ill and pours tea at each family gathering.
For my grandmother, they are her mane and pride. At countless family gatherings she will remind us that her neighbours walk by and ask how she gave such life to these flowers. Such imposition is custom in Whitby, where watchful neighbours often cast a glance into an uncovered window as they walk by.
As I begin my experience in the Ottawa window cleaning industry, I find these thoughts sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb. What are windows for: looking in or looking out?
Recently, my mother and I drove over the Salmon River on a road trip to Truro. As rain spat on the windshield, I asked her to hold the wipers so I could watch the drops collect on the pane. Something was satisfying about seeing the world mould and distort behind the rain.
Driving within a wheeled terrarium made me realize that it doesn’t matter if a window is for looking inside or out. Whether in our house, our car, or even a dingy shed, we create different worlds for different uses. But what good is it to have if we do not allow the worlds we create to bleed into one another?
Tomorrow I take a bus to the nations capital where I will begin my hands-on work as Director of Marketing. Surely I will spend most of the trip gazing at the rolling Ontario landscape through the (hopefully clean) window of the Greyhound. I can only hope that my mind will wander kilometres ahead towards the world that awaits me at my destination.