Put a Rooster in Your Window


Whimsey. It's one of the most underrated approaches to living a good old happy life. But what is it, really? Whimsey asks that you be a bit foolish sometimes (or all the time) and not apologize for it, like the fella in front of me on the plane on Thursday wearing a drab grey sweater sprinkled with images of ice cream cones in every flavour imaginable. Whimsey requires that you joyfully, if not proudly, embrace your uniqueness, rejoicing in the fact that there is only one you in this big grand world. Whimsey insists that you put a rooster in your window.

Yes, there is a back story that connects whimsey and roosters and windows and it all starts in the robust country of Germany where we have just spent five days. In 2003, a young student named Nils from the north west of Germany arrived at the Cape to complete his studies. Chris and Nils share a hearty friendship and a love for the intricacies of Newfoundland language. Not only did Chris introduce Nils to the gannets but he also taught him the finer nuances of Branch lingo, so much so that Nils, upon observing a beautiful morning aboard a Coast Guard boat, said to his ship mates, "Keen day for a cow to calf". Anyway, we have visited Nils and his wife Nele and girls a few times in the very North of Germany. The landscape is flat and spacious, dotted with meadows where not only wooly sheep graze but humongous wind farms generate earth friendly power. The arms of the wind turbines spin in the lightest of breezes tossed in from the wild North Sea, creating a meditative swirl high above the grazing livestock and small farms. As we walked around the small communities with solid, boxy names like Suderdeich and Reinsbuttel, sheep singing and windmills turning, we wre most drawn in by the windows that stared out at us from steep roofed brick houses. Yes, windows! The northerners treat their small square panes of glass as canvasses on which to display their personalities. There are polka dot hearts dangling, rock arrangements perfectly perched on narrow ledges, sun catchers shaped like tractors reaching for the late afternoon sun, elves offering peace signs, teapots gratefully housing orchids and always, always proud roosters asking for some acknowledgment of their feathery finery. Each day, a new window gladly shared a new secret of the inhabitants with us. In one window, there was a small simple white chair placed lovingly on the ledge with "home" written carefully on the seat. While I didn't know this person from Adam, her small display spoke of her rootedness in that hardy corner of Germany. If you have some time, ask yourself what your window says about you. Does it tell people even a part of your story? Does it speak to that whimsical part of you that would love to put up a chapter of your life (or even a page) in your window for all to see as they walk by? Whatever it is, be it a proud rooster, a silvery cod fish with a sparkly green necklace or even a flower that you have kindly nourished, make up your mind to add a touch of yourself to one little window and embrace your whimsey today! Remember the saying, "Your story begins at home".  


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