With the Sun In Mind

More than a century ago, someone gave me a gift. Scarcely a day passes that I don’t give thanks to this unknown person, who understood how the sun moves through the sky and who used this knowledge to design our house.

Now that I’m retired and no longer turning off my alarm long before sunup, I see the rainbows that move across our white bedspread as the sun rises. They come from the beveled glass of an east window­. As it catches the light, it acts as a prism, splitting what was white into colors.

I’d be reluctant to leave the bedroom each morning, except that I don’t want to miss what’s happening downstairs. In the living room, transoms top the east windows. And the light that filters through their textured, colored panes, casts a rippling, rose glow over the room, a gentle welcome to the day.

All along its path across the sky, the sun shines in on us, through one window and then another. But it saves the best for evening. Having reached the west side of the house, the sinking sun sends its light through the amber and purple window panes on stairway landing. And the foyer below is sprinkled with sunset colors.

Our old creaky house is full of windows—forty of them, many stretching from near the floor almost up to the ten-foot ceilings. We feel their numbers on window-washing day. With few blank walls, it’s hard to arrange furniture and to make Zoom calls. These windows increase our heating bills and decrease our privacy.

But I wouldn’t trade them. The changing light elevates my energy and brings beauty and cadence to my day. And all because someone in 1872 thought to designed with the sun in mind.

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