The room where I get my weekly chemotherapy injections boasts more than a dozen comfy recliners in shades of beige or in a brown print. Some days all the chairs are full of people of all shapes, ages, and colors. Waiting time can be an hour or more, so people-watching is everyone’s favorite sport.
Today I had an 8:00 A.M. appointment so there were only a few people in the room. Across from me was a young man under forty dressed for success and on his way to work. A few chairs down was a frail woman who must have been in her 90’s wearing a chemo cap and a mask over her mouth. She was trying to sort out with the nurse whether she was feeling so bad because of the chemo or her cancer or if she just had a cold. Down the row from me was a couple in their 70’s. The husband was hooked up to an IV bag, but his wife was the one claiming all the attention. Far down the room on my left, a grizzled veteran of IV chemo therapy sat patiently waiting for what could be a 5 hour procedure.
The main feature of this room is the wall of windows which stretches across the entire room, from nearly floor to ceiling. If I can find a chair facing the windows, I am in for a treat. I can look out at a grove of stately evergreen trees which are home to dozens of birds and a few squirrels and a rabbit or two. Three bird feeders just outside the window attract this motley crew; you can usually spot a cardinal or two, a blue jay, many sparrows, and finches. It is fascinating to watch the birds at the feeding stations elbowing their way to the food. Even more fascinating is how any movement on our side of the window causes an instant flutter of dozens of wings. Within seconds, the birds disappear into the leafy branches of the evergreens which provide perfect cover and wait patiently for someone to call the “all clear” signal so they can resume their meal.
A few weeks after I started treatment, I noticed that one small square at the top of each end of the wall of windows was shaded a sky-blue. When I looked through that window, I was invited to join a beautiful day. When I looked through the regular windows I saw the cloudy grays of November – March. Some days I forgot that the blue window is a decorative feature and was disappointed when I walked out into clouds or rain or snow.
Today as I contemplated the window wall again, I was reminded that if I choose to look at my life through a sky-blue filter, serenity will be much closer than if I choose the view through the gray clouds.