A Gift From the 17th Floor

“You wouldn’t catch me going up in that lift” they said. “Being so high up, anything could happen” they said – and they’re right!

Some see life through my eyes as terrifying, they’ve even said it to my face.  What a gift it is though, to be living on the 17th floor.  Standing on my balcony, the view is incredible and they’re so right – anything could indeed happen.  Not only can I see the whole of the city & further, an abundance of trees present too many shades of green to even count. image As spring approaches, peregrine falcons take flight after hatching their young, and circle in the distance in search of pigeons separated from their group. Sometimes I hold my breath as they come right outside my window.  At night, glistening jewels that are street lights & houses, dominate the landscape taking me on a journey of wild imagination but not until my mind & body have bathed in the image of fiery orange/yellow sunsets.


Sometimes I choose one particular light in the distance & wonder ‘who lives in this house? What are they doing? Are they snuggled up happily with a cup of coffee & the TV or in mourning in devastation – grieving the loss of a loved one? The mind creates a plethora of stories, images & perceptions of life beyond the 17th floor, but none of them match the wonderment of the present moment before my eyes – reality if that’s how you like to perceive things.
Reality? As a Buddhist I know none of these things exist in the way I see them – independently.  Each depends on something else to exist -For example; the trees need to be planted, they need water, a human to plant the seed, the right weather conditions, land in which to start life etc, so many things to create the tree but I only see the tree.  The glistening jewels that are electric lights need electricity, which needs a human who in turn needs to have been born, then there needs to be a home to shine from, which needs to be built etc but I only see the electric light.  You see, so much is missed from this never ending story, but my point is we’re all interconnected in some way.  Our lives, emotions and perceptions all exist because of other factors. So yes I understand those who say they’d be terrified living so high up in the sky, and who fear the lift in case something awful happens – we aren’t so different. In fact, I myself would be terrified if I looked through their fearful eyes at the world but life is just a perception and what a gift I’ve been given – here on the 17th floor.

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