by Shari Randall
Life presents us with big mysteries and small mysteries. The big mysteries (Why are we here? Who built the giant heads on Easter Island? Where do all those missing socks in the dryer go?) are the ones we have to live with. In time, a brilliant archeologist or philosopher may give us the answers to these big questions, but we can live with these mysteries because they don’t impact our every day life. Well, sometimes the missing socks mystery does, but we just buy more socks. Some mysteries can be managed just fine without a definite solution.
The smaller mysteries are the ones that we can sometimes clear up ourselves. My friend Donna heard a strange rapping sound behind the wall in her bedroom. Upon investigation, it turned out a woodpecker had gotten in through a hole in the siding (and thank goodness her handyman was able to get the woodpecker out again!)
When I moved into my home on the New England shore, I couldn’t figure out why the head of the bed in the master bedroom was pushed up against the large picture window in the front of the room.
Sure, the window overlooks the water, but the view is hard to admire when sleeping with my head against the windowsill. And when I say head of the bed, I mean the mattress. This beach house bedroom is pretty barebones; the bed is a mattress and box spring – no headboard or footboard.
We decided to leave the bed where it was; we had plenty of other household tasks to worry about. Besides, the sound of the waves that played softly outside the window was restful.
A few nights later, light peeking around the edges of the blinds woke me up. I rolled onto my stomach and pulled the blinds aside.
|Photo taken with cell phone.|
A few nights later my husband and I settled into bed, lying on our stomachs, heads propped on our pillows, looking out at the stars. The constellation Orion, belt glittering, filled our window. Then just before dawn a few days later, my husband woke me to see the planets Venus and Jupiter, larger and brighter than either of us had ever seen them before, shining as deep pink and gold sunlight streaked the horizon. The sight was so wonderful that I didn't even mind the early wake up call.
Finally, the placement of the bed by the window made sense. Mystery solved! Our east facing window was a perfect spot for stargazing.
Seeing the stars that are usually obscured by the light pollution of my home in the suburbs also cleared up a literary mystery. Wendell Berry wrote a poem, “The Peace of Wild Things” about the solace he found in the natural world. Now that I had observed the beauty hidden by the light, his lines suddenly made sense:
“And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.”
Have you solved any mysteries – small or big - at your house?