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Some Days You Just Need to Look Out

(Please note that the videos here are not supposed to be professional: 1) I’m not a pro. 2) It’s about the idea not the polish. 3) I’m lazy. I recommend reading and then watching.)

Outside my window I wouldn’t expect to see much. Outside my window it’s never truly dark and the screams of sirens and tall boats hailing low bridge attendants pierce the air. Outside my window I see the city, and even if it is my city, the emerald city, it’s still a whole lot of mess outside my window.

Yet when I wake up, the first thing I see outside my window are clouds and sky. If I sit up, blinking off sleep and don glasses, I can see more outside my window than blocks and cranes. Because outside my window there are also mountains and waterways and islands. Outside my window the crests bloom and contract with the light of the day; in fact outside my window right this very instant a band of light is a rose wash on a wilderness of peaks and snow.

So, outside my window the world is not just hard lines of the grid. Outside my window there’s more than noise and light pollution. Outside my window there’s more alive than people. Outside my window I don’t have to look or listen as far as those dark and light layers of water and trees and mountains.

Outside my window I can hear things stirring, things that aren’t morning commuters or garbage trucks. Outside my window I can hear crows cawing as they head to their territories; just as I’ll see them head home at night. Outside my window I can hear the complaining of gulls, circling overhead out of sight, who rest on my building while they keep an eye out for food. Outside my window I hear a flock of bushtits twitter between shrubs and trees that line the streets, calling to one another so they don’t stray too far or miss out on a particular invertebrate infested shrub.

Of course outside my window there are also squirrels, seen and rats, unseen. Outside my window I know there are dogs and cats. But outside my window, there are not lions roaming the streets, although I can hear them sometimes. Not far outside my window is a zoo, and the menagerie of exotic and rare animals there is somehow a comforting thought, a reminder that I have more to do than contemplate the things outside my window in spare moments as a city dweller.

Birds and trees are mostly what’s outside my window. A crow’s nest, scraggly, possibly waiting for the next year, sits outside the window in the bare trees between the wilderness of peaks and I. Anna’s Hummingbirds will surely be building a nest outside my window soon because I hear the aggressive rasps and twitters of a male. He calls this block his. Sometimes I see him outside my window, hovering high over those peaks, before diving deep and pulling out with a squeal of feathers though air. Outside my window jet fighters that could fit in in my palm duel for sovereignty and break the sound barrier. Outside my window conniving corvids have built tree houses out of found materials, snapping sticks just here, collecting rootlets just right.

Outside my window there are many other birds, robins and finches, falcons and hawks. Outside my window I’ve seen or heard 36 species in total. Outside my window I was surprised to hear an Evening Grosbeak calling as it passed by. Outside my window I wasn’t in the least surprised to see a Cooper’s Hawk lurking in the dawn.

And that reminds me, it’s not all fun and beauty outside my window. That Cooper’s Hawk, she’s around outside my window often. Sometimes, outside my window I see her preening, unconcerned by the crows stooping on her. Sometimes outside my window I see her crouched on a hidden branch, tail quaking back and forth, before she jumps low into the half-light, tilting through the foliage. I’ve never seen her pluck a bird outside my window, but surely she does.

Outside my window there are storms and sunlight. Outside my window great gusts seems to shake the hill my window looks from. Outside my window rain pelts and I can see nothing but a sheet of water. Outside my window the sun renews and drys and glints across the landscape. Outside my window I can watch the clouds come from the Southwest and know I’ll be warm and wet, or watch them trundle from the North and know a jacket will necessary.

There’s a lot of things outside my window.

The reason I’ve told you about what’s outside my window, is that sometimes, that’s about all we have: a moment glancing out the window. I look to the outside my window often; I crave what’s there. Outside my window there’s a whole world of excitement and nature even if much is just on the edges of the city. I know that when I get outside my window, good things happen.

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