coloured glass window pane above clear window pane holding misty roofs

After nights and days of rain the room is silent when we wake, but we open the curtains to a dense white mist. It presses in against the long window panes, cocooning us in a wet softness. The houses across the street are dimly apparent but the rooftops and hillsides beyond have vanished. There’s just what’s immediately here.

It reminds me of certain winter mornings in Montreal when I would wake to find my old un-double-glazed windows covered in a layer of frost. The frost was thick enough to be opaque, screening out the view of the apartment block opposite and giving me a rare sensation of privacy. And as the sun rose above the apartments, my frosted panes would become suffused with a gentle light, and the room would suddenly seem holy, like a small chapel glowing within patterned glass windows – because, when you looked closely, you saw the frost was a latticework, incredibly intricate, of intertwining fern-like fronds.

Our mist windows are uniform in comparison, and dull rather than illuminate, a damp blank haze. Yet still we have the temporary intimacy of insulation from the world, that depthless proximity which allows us to notice what we usually overlook, to feel what we usually forget to: quiet hovering glances, the warm breath of each of us, near.

Pontycymer, Glamorgan, South Wales
11th November 2015