Thursday, October 30, 2008
A Room With A View
Sitting in my university office yesterday, I was contemplating the many changes that I have seen in the twenty-something years since I first came to work at what was then a small community college. My first office had no view at all - in fact, I don't recall if it even had a window. My second office had a view of the heating system and parking lot. And finally, when the campus expanded several years later, my department moved to a new building and I moved into A Room With A View, the office I still inhabit today.
When I first moved into this office, I had a clear view of the mountains, including the magnificant Mt. Baker, rimming the horizon. The view of Mt. Baker was very meaningful to me, for I had grown up admiring its splendor from my family home. (It wasn't until after I had left home and my folks had moved elsewhere that we discovered Baker is actually a volcano - a discovery which prompted my dad to say he would never have slept as soundly as he did, had he known!)
Between the growth of the campus buildings and the growth of the trees outside my window, I have lost much of the original view. Only a few distant peaks from the endless chain remain visible on a clear and sunny fall day. To gaze at Mt. Baker now I must take a stroll across campus, across the green, past the library, past the bookstore and student residences.....and there it is, that incredible peak rising majestically above all the others in the distance. Sadly, I seldom have time for such a stroll.
I miss the small campus and the big view. I miss the small town feeling and the big world vision. I liked things how they were - I have always tended to resist change rather than embrace it. But I had forgotten how changing landscapes bring their own beauty. Just as the seasons come and go in my pasture, each with its own special beauty, so too I watch the years come and go from my office --- and while the view is ever changing, it still has the ability to invoke a sense of reverence.
One of these days I must take the time to wander across campus with my camera and capture Mt. Baker's beauty for the blog. For now, however, I shall just enjoy my Room With A View. We truly live in a beautiful world.