On Either Side of the Windowpane

watching 0314We are always in relationship–some small, others grand–ours is to co-exist. Life is what we have in common. It is sharing space with one another, including the insect in the room.

In the subtropical climate in which I live, co-existence with insects and bugs is possible year around. There are seasonal changes, sometimes marked by a winter’s bloom and other times, yet another change in foliage color.

Through it all, insects and bugs make their way on either side of window panes. The world of bugs and insects is fragile in its beauty and terrifyingly transient. There, living life to its fullest, even for a nanosecond, is never questioned, and death is just as imminent. The more I watch this world, the larger my own life becomes.

Insect and bug death is more common outside my windowpane than on the inside. Feline EmmaRose and I are content to observe all the life around us, although there are times I escort bugs and insects to the world on the other side of the pane. Relationship requires decisions.

Our windows look onto a carpet of grass that slopes to live oaks, pines and vines of woodland too thick for human occupation. Gray squirrels flick their feather-plumed tails, scurrying in and out of the woods in constant search of nuts not yet sprouted. Rarely, do they look to insects and bugs as food but they are never off the menu. Woods within 0514 This spring, EmmaRose and I have watched a pair of cardinals pecking seeds at woods’ edge as well as enjoying bug protein. The silken-red male most often appears in mornings, taking breakfast from what seems to be a favorite series of spots.

It is early evening when we see an earthen-brown female with a tufted, red crest and subtle red highlights. She stays closer to the woods, most often preferring low branches to the ground.

The brown thrasher is quite common of late. It seems a good year for insects and bug protein. To me, the reddish-brown streaks of the thrasher splashed through its mostly white chest seem velvet in texture. Thrashers, cardinals, and squirrels can be territorial but EmmaRose and I have yet to see a squabble.

The world outside the windowpane seems orchestrated and random. I wonder at all that I never see. I like that there is yet another world beyond mine.Bunny right side 072813

This week, there is a new crop of clover, always a favorite for the eastern cottontail rabbits that enjoy the cover of the woodlands as well as the grassy area borders. We watch kits and adults alike.

EmmaRose seems most attuned to rabbit watching. Often, she puts her paw on my arm and meows; it is my cue to look to the world outside the windowpane. More often than not, a rabbit munches the green slope at the edge of the woods.

Relationships are a collage of images collected over a lifetime, snapshots of the world on either side of the windowpane.

24 thoughts on “On Either Side of the Windowpane

    • They are good at meditation and EmmaRose joins quite often. She has just begun yoga; of course, her favorite pose is “downward facing cat.” *wink* Thanks for stopping by.
      Karen

      Like

  1. It is rare to find someone who thinks in terms of relationships. Hard to be lonely when you are aware of all the life around you. Is EmmaRose’s name by any chance from Kate Wolf’s song of the same name?

    Like

    • Gosh, I thought I had responded to your question regarding the Kate Wolf song. I apologize for being so tardy in responding. The answer is no but thank you for sending me to Kate Wolf. As EmmaRose is a rescue cat, I suppose there seems a tangential connection with the song now that I know of it. Thank you!
      Karen

      Like

  2. Karen, again I appreciate how you view the world. Yes, there is so much we do not see beyond the window pane. It’s amazing when we contemplate a world that we do not fully know. Loved this! It’s always good to stop and take stock in the things that we may take for granted. And you help us to do just that. Thank you! 🙂

    Like

    • Hi, Karen!

      There are so many worlds within the big one we all share because we live. I know that you, too, are concerned about chemicals and the kind of planet we are leaving for future generations. Perhaps naively but I have always believed that observing life at as many levels as possible allows us an appreciation of what a gift life is, no matter how long or how short it is. To me, that experience is what connects us with all levels. Thanks, Karen.
      Karen

      Like

    • Hi, Kay!

      I am sure you have seen the FB posts that say if the bees go, so do we. From all I can ascertain, there is more truth in that than drama. Literally, we need to clean up our chemical act. Thanks, Kay.
      Karen

      Like

  3. Nice piece! I love the “terrifyingly transient,” as did others I see. I also liked the above phrase, “life goes about its business with tenacity and purpose.” I shared this.

    Like

  4. Great post – as you say, the transience of insect life gives perspective to our own. In our household, both my wife and I try not to kill any. Even spiders get coaxed on to pieces of paper and taken outside, carefully. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s important to try.

    Like

    • Sometimes, the escort out the door is not as successful as I had hoped. That is when I try to remember Ajahn Chah on intention–his example is the insect’s life–it is not my intention the insect die but it happens. As mostly Buddhist, I then must re-consider my intention; it has markedly improved my success rate. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks, Matthew!
      Karen

      Like

  5. the phrase “terrifyingly transient” really lit a lightbulb in my brain. first of all, great alliteration, but also really ties in to the Buddhist way of understanding the world. it occurred to me that at the moment when my life comes to an end, if I am lucky enough to be lucid, I may look back at the whole of it, and in an instant, it will appear to have been like a roller coaster ride, terrifyingly transient.

    Like

    • Brilliant, Craig! When that phrase came to me, I had a similar feeling, something like no matter how long any being’s existence is, it is momentary. Like you, I hope I am lucid to appreciate the final instant. Wonderful comment and thanks.
      Karen

      Like

  6. I’ll never look at a bug the same way, except to appreciate them on the other side of the window. This was so descriptive, that although I’ve only seen a couple of cardinals in my life, I could look at them in my mind through your windowpane. Thank you for sharing the beauty of you life!

    Like

    • As you know, I once lived in your area, which offers a season of bugs. It has been an adjustment, I assure you, but it is one that has really served me. Thanks, Dona!
      Karen

      Like

  7. You and I spend a lot of our time watching the workings of the rest of the living, breathing world. This morning, walking my slow and old dog I moved a glossy black beetle off the road and into the grass. His feet were sharp, his legs strong. The beetle clung to my finger as I moved him. Life goes about its business with tenacity and purpose. My good luck is, that as a human being, I get to observe and remember.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s