When each of us is on our own island, it is hard sometimes to remember all the other islands that are out there.
A Facebook group called View from My Window is a reminder of the many people who are in at least relative lockdown during this global crisis. Its premise is simple – every member can post one picture of the scene outside a window in their house. The snapshot must include the date, the time and of course the location and wherever possible should exclude people. The group is carefully moderated and is one of the safest, most comfortable places I have found on the social network. The comments are full of love and empathy and greetings from around the world.
Introduced by my dear friend Heather, I joined way back when the group had only around 10,000 members. It is currently up over 1.6 million, the kind of exponential growth that we can delight in rather than fear. There are pictures and members from every continent (although I haven’t seen one from Antarctica myself) and from hundreds of countries. Some of the shots are of gardens and lush yards. Some are of deserted city blocks. There are a few bleak views taken through the hospital windows of those with infection. The sense of intimacy and inclusion is breathtaking, as if we have been allowed for one moment into the mind of the poster. We feel connection and unity, at the same time as the emptiness of the landscapes (especially the city images) gives an eerie sense of desolation.
Because my picture is now buried by literally a million others, I have reposted it here. This is what I see when I look out my study windows. Trees, empty streets and in the corner of my eye pictures of Rome to remind me that there is a greater world than I am seeing. The pictures have always been there. Their redolence is new.
I’d love you to join the movement – there is no other way to characterize something that has swept through the world and incorporated millions. Allow the world for one moment to look through your eyes. And then relax and share the stirring beauty and pathos of the other images and of the messages of solidarity that accompany them.
[This Post was adapted from a essay originally published on Facebook the day listed above]