Rear Window

Have you seen the movie Rear Window, the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock classic? It’s one of my personal favorites.

While I’m happy to report that nothing too suspicious is going on outside my rear window, I’ve found myself thinking about Jimmy Stewart’s character, a photographer convalescing with a broken foot. Through the view of his rear window, he gradually pieces together a murder.

As my surgery-addled brain clears and my energy slowly returns, I’m feeling the limitations of my restricted mobility.

In the movie, Stewart’s character Jeff starts to suspect the neighbor across the way of killing and then burying his own wife. At one point he tells the detective:

“Those two yellow zinnias at the end, they’re shorter now. Now since when do flowers grow shorter over the course of two weeks? Something’s buried there.”

This got me thinking. There is something suspicious outside my rear window. It looks like a small sinkhole to the front of a newly planted shrub. Like Stewart, I’m unable to investigate on my own. I waited for Mike to check it out. He topped up the recess with a handful of soil, but the next day the sinkhole was back.

It’s quite possible that I’m spending too much time in my head.

In any event, I miss my garden and my mobility.

San Jose summers are too hot for daytime gardening. Mid autumn is where the action is. I long to be out there raking leaves, pruning branches, and tidying the garden for the winter ahead. I love the way the crisp air reddens my cheeks and reminds me that I’m one with the elements. The bouquet of autumn decay centers my soul.

This is the time of year when my garden gloves wear out. Even the toughest gloves are no match for wet earth and rough leaves. Once the fingertips have worn through, it’s time to put them to rest, thanking them for a job well done.

As the garden rests, part of me comes alive. I spent the first six years of my life in Ontario, Canada, a home with four distinct seasons. I think those changing seasons are part of my early imprinting. Autumn in San Jose connects me to my early sense of home.

As I heal from surgery and sit this season out, here’s the view from my rear window.

hydrangea cranberry

This blushing pink Hydrangea darkens to a beautiful cranberry before dying back for the winter. I’m looking down on it from our living room window

split view

Splitting the view: indoor shelves display assorted succulents; outdoors, Abutilon grows along the fence with dollops of ground cover and a peek-a-boo Hydrangea

ultra violet decal

These window decals “contain a unique component that reflects ultraviolet light, which is brilliantly visible to birds, to alert them of glass without obscuring your view.”

pair of hummingbirds at feeder

Ana’s hummingbird has a drink at the feeder while a competitor swoops in for a turn

alysum, geranium, begonia and flax

Foreground: Alyssum, Pink Geranium and Begonia. Background: New Zealand Flax

22 thoughts on “Rear Window

  1. The mind will play games with us when we don’t keep it occupied as usual. Your garden is lovely even in winter. At least it’s winter here. My hydrangeas are frozen. 😦 I remember my convalescence in Sept. I couldn’t even read while I was down, I watched way to much TV or at least listened to it. I do remember Rear Window. Loved it. Always thought it would be fun to be a detective. Guess I’m just nosy. 🙂 Keep healing. Hugs.

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    • Marlene, I too like the idea of being a detective. My favorite books as a teen were always mysteries. I’ve also enjoyed the Sue Grafton novels, as in A is for Alibi. Have you read any of her books? She’s a PI and her books are set in the eighties before computers and mobile phones were all the rage. Great reads if you like that style of book.

      I’m sorry you couldn’t read during your convalescent. I’m grateful for my eye site.

      Frozen hydrangeas = brrrrrrr. xox

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  2. Oh to have hydrangeas! I’m sorry you’re having to miss the most beautiful season in the garden. Your description matches the joys of being out in crisp weather perfectly.

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  3. The days here have turned cold and gray as if they were scripted to be part of a Hemingway novel. Being outside has really lost it’s luster for me…Spring should be along shortly and most likely you will be mobile and ready with new gloves to enjoy it.

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    • Charlie, I’m sorry to hear that cold, gray days have driven you indoors. Less daylight, too, makes it challenging. I like the idea of Seattle’s late autumn as a scripted Hemingway novel. I can just picture it.

      Here’s to longer days and the return of mobility.

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    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      The decals work 95% of the time and I’m trying to figure out why not 100%. When we hung them in the front kitchen window, all bird strikes stopped. The back window never had bird strikes until about two years ago. I’ve since added three decals, but just recently had two bird strikes, though neither one fatal or injurious. It has to do with the play of light and the time of year. I would definitely give them a go if you have this problem. It’s sickening to hear that thump on the glass and to realize what’s happened.

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  4. I tend to wish I had an excuse to just sit in a chair and read but then I read about how you’re forced to do just that and it takes me glad to be mobile! I’m glad you have such a lovely and sustaining view outside the window. And I’m still wondering about that sinkhole . . .

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    • There have definitely been perks to having this extra time in a chair, but I’m ready to get moving again. As the pain and fatigue lift, I’m more restless. I’ve also learned that I actually don’t like being waited on. I like my independence. The simple act of carrying a hot cup of tea from my kitchen to the sofa has to be carefully thought out when I’m home alone. I will endeavor to fully appreciate my mobility once regained.

      and yes…that sinkhole…

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  5. Mmmm – sinkhole? Some sinister happening still lurking from Halloween perhaps? The hydrangea is a very pretty colour – I never liked them when I was younger and called them ‘old ladies flowers’ now I love them 🙂 I must have been right 🙂 It won’t be too much longer and you will be practising being mobile again and building up those muscles. It is very hot here at the moment, Siddy and I went for a walk at half past nine last night as the day dimmed and became just the slightest tad cooler. I thought of you in your summer heat and realised that at 27C I still wasn’t reaching your 30+ temps….. I haven’t seen that movie for I don’t know how long – but we do have another much loved James Stewart Christmas movie lined up to watch this holiday……….

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