Out My Kitchen Window
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    “Out My Kitchen Window,” Ensign, Apr. 1989, 75

    Out My Kitchen Window

    I can look out my kitchen window, past the backyard, directly at the freeway. It isn’t a beautiful sight—cars and trucks whiz north and south twenty-four hours a day, bumper-to-bumper during rush hour. Ambulances and police cars whine by at all hours. During the summer the dust thrown up by countless vehicles coats my furniture relentlessly.

    Worse yet is the train that passes between my yard and the freeway. Along the weedy tracks, trains burst forth seemingly from nowhere, rattling not only the windows but the entire house.

    These aren’t particularly beautiful sights. But if I lift my eyes beyond the railroad tracks, beyond the freeway, I can see the mountains to the east.

    Many evenings I have looked out that window and watched a perfectly rounded moon of palest amber steadily rise above the blackened silhouette of the mountains. In the spring I gaze on the multi-shaded greens and stand in awe, after a sudden summer shower, at the beautiful arch of a rainbow that stretches from one end of the valley to the other.

    Autumn brings such a profusion of reds and golds that my eyes are dazzled. The colors start gradually on the highest peak, then disperse widely as they drift farther down the slope. Always, pockets of green maintain a hold against the encroaching brilliance—just enough to add a patchwork-quilt look.

    Autumn also brings low-lying clouds and mist, which hover above the valley floor, making the mountains look like majestic alps peering down on an enshrouded world. At other times the clouds skim the lofty tops and remind me of paintings of Olympus, home of the gods.

    The winter snows transform the mountains to marshmallow creations that are dazzlingly brilliant on sunny days. Dusk in winter is almost too beautiful to describe. As the sun disappears in the west, the last rays of light change the brilliant white peaks to a softly diffused pink, then to a deep rose that gradually fades to the palest hue, and then, almost instantly, to an inky black that outlines the mountains against the deep blue of the star-studded night.

    Then the moon begins her cycle again.

    I can look out my kitchen window at an unsightly train track or a busy freeway. Or I can lift my gaze upward and drink in the beauty of God’s creations. The choice is mine to make.—Shirley Rawlins, Midvale, Utah