Over the last few months, I have done a whole lot of reflection on my time in the military. Things happened that I’m not proud of how I handled; things happened that I had no real control of, because I was young and had no frame of reference to make decisions; and things affected me in ways I didn’t truly understand.
I was in the Navy, and for a large part of my six years, I was on a ship. I worked in the darkest part of the ship – really…we worked in darkness with only green lights. I also worked the night shift, so for the most part, when I would venture out to smoke, it was either dawn, dusk or dark as dark can be in the middle of the ocean. A Naval vessel isn’t like a cruise ship – there are very, very few actual windows. When there is a window, it normal is part of a water-tight door giving visual access to the room which the door closes on or opens to. Air is often stifling, no matter how well the recirculation system works and more often than not, the chemical smells of fuel, paint and every other type of industrial chemical is in the air and water. I once realized, with dismay, that a major reason I smoked was for the fresh air…crazy, right?
So, there’s the background. Here’s the odd effect all that had on me: I’d rather have the blinds open, even when I probably shouldn’t. I can’t sleep unless there is a window open in the bedroom – because anything less, reminds me of the ship and I can’t sleep. I have to have the outdoor noise, and the fresh air blowing in. Have to. I will wake up with incredible irritation if the window isn’t opened enough (because you know, maybe it was raining); and I will irritably toss and turn all night if the windows is closed when I go to bed (because, you know, maybe it was raining).
The window whether it is in my living room, kitchen, bedroom is one of the most important things in my life – because I didn’t have one for a long time. I’ve had sliding glass doors and they stayed open at all times, except for during hurricanes. More then anything, the windows in my life have been healing portals to a better way of living for me. I’m not sure I’m able to explain it well, and I’m not even sure if it makes sense enough for others to understand. But, there it is.
The article I linked to above talks about adorning the wondrous windows in your life; and why that is a healing endeavor. As I read that article, I looked out of the window my sacred space encompasses and realized that’s exactly what I’ve done with my own window. It is in fact one of the most nourishing places in my home for me – the other being the bedroom my partner and I created together. My most sacred space includes a window that looks out onto a world plush with greenery, and weather, and earthy ground; the only watery essence is when it rains – and I’m happy with that. It doesn’t matter if my sacred space is in the middle of the living room, an isolated extra bedroom, or in the kitchen – as long as there is a window, I am at peace.