by Jenna Hoffman
I recently moved into a basement apartment. And it’s not just any old basement apartment where maybe you can still look up and out your window and see the tips of a few blades of grass and a sliver of sky to assure you that the natural world still exists somewhere. No, in my apartment, when I look out the window, I see a gray concrete wall, which, in addition to making me feel like I live in a prison compound, also effectively blocks out any feelings of hope or happiness or love or goodwill in general. Nothing above ground level—no rising sun; no setting sun; no airplane, nor bird, nor hot-air balloon; no star; no moon; no raincloud, nor any kind of cloud for that matter—can penetrate that wall. Essentially, inside my apartment, no part of the sky can subsist. Unless, of course, I stand on my roommate’s bed, bend myself in half, and twist my neck 180 degrees. Then perhaps I can glimpse a square foot of the heavens, crisscrossed by an ugly and unnecessary chainlink fence. But it’s not the same. I need the sky. The whole sky and nothing but the sky, because, for me, the sky is the canvas on which life’s big picture is painted. The sheer expanse of it helps me to see past my need to go grocery shopping, my upcoming test, my abrasive roommate, my bad day at work. It helps me see up and away and into the future. And especially on these crisp autumn days the sky seems, to me, especially magical and transcendent.
You cannot argue that there isn’t something absolutely whimsical about that burnt October sunset, streaked with sunlit gray clouds that barely graze the tips of the silhouetted mountains in the west. There is something so refreshing about the yellow light on the horizon on a rainy morning, something so divine about a flock of birds soaring across the brilliant firmament of blue. And I ask you, is there a better way to enjoy such a view than snuggled on the couch, nursing a mug of hot cocoa and listening to Norah Jones? No, there is not. So, I beg you, don’t take your window for granted. Claim that blessing and go indulge in a look at the October sky—for me.