Woods Walker Online

The View from my Window

The Village House
Gloucester Hill Road
Michael Fralich

I firmly believe that the view out our windows helps define who we are and gives us a sense of place. For thirty-eight years the view out my kitchen window was of a wall of green forest. It was mixed hardwoods in one direction and a planted pine stand in the other direction. In this place we dubbed Norumbega, the woods were our comfort and our escape. No matter the turmoil, internal or external, it could all be left behind by simply walking out the door and into the forest. On three sides of our house, the woods hugged us in a Silvan embrace.

Now as I sit at my computer composing this, the view is quite different. I am in the study of our new Village House. It is located directly across from the Congregational Church in the Lower Village of New Gloucester. The window just above my computer screen looks out into the stall of my Clydesdale mare’s stall with Gloucester Hill Road and the church in the background. Cyra is my mare’s name. Her stall is attached to my study and to the garage.

It is windy today. Brown leaves are skittering across the pavement of the road. Cyra’s mane lifts and falls with each gust. I am listening to Benny Goodman on vinyl. Cyra occasionally comes to the window to put her blue eye (her other eye is brown) to the glass to check up on me. Other times I will come into my study to find her snoozing with legs tucked under her body like a dog.

At our farm at Norumbega, Cyra lived in our barn, a hundred yards down slope from the house. While it was not far away my access to and connection with Cyra is vastly different in our new house. My view of her out my window is more than a glass pothole, it is an open invitation to go out and explore our new neighborhood.

Looking beyond her, I can watch the world go by in ways not afforded me on Woodman Road. I see walkers, bikers, strollers with babies, and of course many cars and trucks in the course of a day. I can still see trees but they, like I, are watchers of the village life that now surrounds us. I loved the view from our Woodman Road kitchen. It was peaceful and comforting. My view now is vibrant with life moving past our house in all manner of ways.

We love village life as much as we liked country life. Here we can walk to the Village Store, Church, Town Hall, Library and to the house of our many friends who live in the village with us. My window has not only a view of Cyra, it looks out onto the rest of my life.