A Room With A View

hawk, birds, snow 010This morning, I heard the weather forecaster mention that we’ve met or exceeded another meteorological record, having received snow each of the past nine days. While not as immediately dramatic as the storm hitting the east coast today, still, it has added up in increments and made scooting around in my little VW Bug tricky enough to be avoided, if possible. Yesterday it wasn’t, and I paid the price of getting stuck and having to shovel the car free.

So, I’ve stayed inside to write, read, cook, work with photographs, and write some more, taking breaks to gaze out the window at the birds and squirrels, and darting out to refill their feeders when they need replenishing.

Snow, Murphy, House, Birds 054

The cats and I enjoy the view and each other’s quiet company.

Fiona 004

Mully and Fergus in the window 008These slow winter days take me deep within, and my gifts, meager though they may be, seem urged by the solitude to express themselves. I’ve been struggling with a story that has perplexed me regarding its evolution. The plot has jiggled like liquid mercury, shape-shifting and eluding me. When my writing immobilizes, I use the great picture window in front of my desk to escape the confines of words.

The mystery of where this impulse to create comes from and to what end, irritates me at times. Why be gifted with the impulse and not gifted as well with the path it’s meant to lead me down, towards some perceived outcome? When the way is clear, of course, engaging in creation is utter joy, but when I’m lost in a hall of mirrors I willingly chose to enter, believing inspiration and talent would lead me out, I wish I were instead someone content to watch soap operas, ponder nothing, and remain a stranger to creativity.

The other morning I sat at my desk diligently editing, staring, and wondering why, when a great and sudden onrush of darkness sent all the birds scattering with a single and furious beating of wings. Something immense tore down past the window, blocking the light, and just as quickly rose up to the birch tree beyond the feeders.

It had all happened so quickly. The Cooper’s Hawk faced out towards the river and from the back, its feathered cape emanated malevolence. Or such was the ancient archetype it conjured in my mind, as it huddled and seemed to curse the mourning dove that got away.

hawk, birds, snow 018And then the hawk turned and faced me, almost daring me to judge it for trying to harm one of my guests. “Don’t I also need nourishment?” it seemed to ask.

hawk, birds, snow 029And after a few days of brooding over this experience, because I knew it had come to teach me, the path of my story–or at least the next chapter–came into focus.

So, while others may lament long days of snowbound tedium, I’m grateful for the chance to watch the drama right outside my window, and to be led by its inspiration.

In the end, it’s better than a soap opera.

hawk, birds, snow 030


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8 thoughts on “A Room With A View

    1. Meager in the sense that my imagination exceeds my language, I guess. Meager, because unlike you, I cannot sing, draw, paint, etc…I enjoy the gifts I have and I’m grateful for them, but you know what I mean…I am certainly NOT meager in my talent for making wonderful friends. And, I’ll admit, I’m a wicked good baker and cook 🙂


  1. Kitty, I’m so inspired by your window view that you share with us that I’ve decided to put a heated birdbath on my deck outside of our dining room window. None of my current birdbaths can be seen from the house. Now I will have my window on the lively natural world too. Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on finding your way through the story into the next chapter. 🙂


  2. Hear hear Faeriechilde!!!! If I was there I’d throw in a good shaking as well!!!
    Meagre gifts….what piffle, tosh, balderdash, gobble de gook, poppycock….I could go on you know!!!

    Now we’ve sorted that….WOW….I can’t stop looking at that hawk!!! I’m all of a tremble, how MAGNIFICENT that!!! And it has to eat as you say. We have a kestral that comes a visiting and snatching my guests. I always think I’m thrown into nature and just have to go with it’s laws…..

    I’m glad you have broken through your problem chapter, all the best writers find their ideas when they look away or look through the corner of their eye, or out of focus slightly….if that makes any sense!!!

    I love your window, and the fact I get to share the view of course!xxxxx


  3. Yes, Snow Bird, you’re right; I guess the hawks and kestrels are our guests, too…Love your energy and ab-fab attitude. I have an idea that you, Faeriechilde, and I could have delicious fun together! I think you would enjoy her artwork!

    Thank you for the marvelous pep talk as well. It’s hard, after 22+ years of Catholic school, to “blow my own horn,” as they say. Mustn’t be immodest. 🙂

    I have to say, I’ve met such wonderful spirits through this blog. I do feel blessed. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your wonderful words. Have you seen Composerinthegarden ‘s blog? Just amazing, like yours.

    Peace to your week’s end!


  4. Your story is very beautiful. The pictures are wonderful. And they really give us the impression and the feeling of winter. Many have wondered about the creative process, and it is worthy of a lot of study and investigation. Personally, I feel that it is something like prophesy, locking into an awareness that is greater than ours, and modestly accepting a little of the honey for our efforts, without fancying that we ourselves are the creators… more like the hummingbird as it approaches the flower.
    Thank you for a very beautiful post, which I treasure.


    1. Thank you for these beautiful images and idea to ponder, Shimon. I believe the impulse comes from Spirit/our Source, and like you, accept that the vision exceeds my gifts. What I love and appreciate and am grateful for, is your reminder that it’s OK, even gift, to imagine beyond my words, but to relax into the joy of how the “experience” feeds my spirit…thank you, Shimon. I’m copying your words to remind me of their wisdom.


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