Our house in Fayetteville has a lot of windows, something that I’ll look back on in fondness from wherever we find ourselves next. The main room that has skylights and a glass wall that peers into the backyard, lush with a garden of oaks and ferns that create a vignette for the sky to flow across, is often a place of contemplation and prayer for me.

Some ambient melody plays softly, whether from the stereo through the walls of the house, or reverberating within the confines of my mind. Rain patters against the windows overhead.

Environments captivate me. This one will remain special to me for a lifetime.

Windows are fascinating. Transparent walls. They leave you questioning which side you’d rather be on. They’re beautiful, a chance to look deep into a separate environment without leaving yours; the opportunity to see into another reality, to see something apart from yourself, but to still somehow feel so close to it.

There are certain beautifully haunting images that fill my mind when I think of windows.

A man’s silhouette at an aquarium standing alone before a towering blue wall of glass separating him from aquatic giants of the deep. His face glows blue until the shadow of a creature separated by twelve inches of glass drifts across his face and he gasps an uneasy but awestruck breath.

The sun piercing through the front windows of a farmhouse at dawn. A woman wakes up, steam from her coffee wisps in the rays of light as she looks through the window at the rolling hills gilded in golden strands of morning dew, revealed by layers of fog gently slipping away.

Evening walking in silence with my wife through our neighborhood. The houses watch us as we drift by in between shadows. Lamps illuminate the inside of each home: someone sits at their countertop eating a bowl of leftovers; a man sits on his couch alone watching sports center, enjoying the last few moments of solace before the workweek; little still images into the simplicities of American life.

Windows feel like pictures to me. As if all of the windows I’ve ever experienced could be framed and hung on a wall, each worthy of hours and hours of nostalgic memory.

Growing up we had a window in our shower that faced West. I would always aim to take a shower right at sunset every day, so that I could watch the sky melt away. My love for windows began here.