Subtitle: Baby it’s cold outside

One of my favorite quotes of the Tao Te Ching, and yes I have a few, is:

Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.

TTC, CH. 47, from the translation by gia-fu feng and jane english

I’ve mentioned this one before, fairly recently, I think. While I think this chapter is speaking to a few things, such as the Tao is all around us and so we don’t have to go seeking it, and that by meditating quietly in one’s room you may see the ways of heaven, and I certainly can’t argue with that, there are definitely times when you have to get off your damned arse and get outside!

Well, that’s what the medical experts of all ilks tell you. Get up! Get sun! Get fresh air! You’ll feel better! I think most of us have our own empirical knowledge that concurs.

I have limited mobility (never have I ever been in such a hurry to have my legs sawed in half!)*. Going outside means “doing” the stairs and for me, that is a huge chore and literally a pain. I tend to avoid it if I can.

I’ve problem-solved this. It won’t work for everyone, and I know some of you thermostat hawks will faint at the thought, but… here it goes… open a window and sit in front of it for at least a few minutes. I live in New England, not known for its balmy winters. Heating prices are through the roof. Inflation. I live under the government’s declared “poverty line,” and so I get the whole “are you nuts? open a window in winter?” thing.

My actual window! Today! Where I have shoved stuff to the left so I could have better access to the right side window.

But I really needed some fresh air. I really need some calm, zone out time. I need it not to cost me money (yes, denial about the heat). Voila! Open the window and sit in front of it. Do some mindfulness meditation. Breathe deeply. Feel the breeze. Smell the smells. Hear the noises.

I am truly blessed that my apartment overlooks a beautiful New England river. This part of the river is all big granite boulders, and so it is rushing water, even when water levels are down. They are high now. Boulders that I can see plainly in the summer are submerged under feet of frothing water. The sound is glorious and constant. I’ve seen bald eagles and other hunting birds skimming the surface. There are no people, just nature. (Although you can see human stuff, because I’m close to the town center.)

The ugly fence is necessary. It is about 15 feet from my window. From the fence it drops straight down into the rushing water.

I have a double window, with a wide window seat. I could, theoretically sit in the window seat, even turn around and dangle my feet out (but that would smoosh my face into the upper window). Instead, for now, I’m choosing to pull up a chair close, rest my elbows on the window seat, rest my chin on my hands and just… quietly enjoy.

It is currently 32° F (0° C) and snow/sleeting. Lovely (not). I couldn’t sit like that for long, maybe 10 minutes while wearing a sweater.

In my opinion, I nailed the solution and will try to make it a daily thing, or at least frequent. I need to actually venture up the stairs every so often, if for no other reason than to start my car and keep the battery alive.

* I need bilateral knee replacements, and for a variety of reasons, things are on “hold” for a while. I hope to start the process in about six months.


    1. Yes! Exactly! That is the reason I am not on a frikkin plane asap to Edinburgh! I have to be able to walk! And yes, there’s a wait list for the NHS, not to mention a waiting time and tons of paperwork to get to be seen by the NHS. Not to mention… They no longer do both knees at once, so if I am “lucky” I get the first knee done in 6 months, have a 4 month rehabilitation, then the 2nd knee, then another rehabilitation, then… haggis time!

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