I’ve always liked to look into people’s houses.
Ask anyone that spends time with me in a car ride. When the music is down low and I’m off staring through the raindrops on my window, you can be sure my eyes are trained on wherever the light shines.
On that perfect christmas tree wondering how long it took the family to put it together…and if they fought over who got to put the star on top.
On the crusty fireplace with wood still stacked high although it’s the middle of July.
On the tv left on with nobody watching, on the silhouettes in what looks like the kitchen, limbs dancing in evangelical delight as they tell the craziest story.
I sit in wonder. Wonder about all the stories I will never get to hear and all the living, breathing beings that materialize as open-ended questions when they pass me by. I wonder about how we as human beings have such a strong desire to connect. I wonder if that’s because there’s so little we know about each other. With every new fact you learn about your best friend, there’s a billion other facts about a billion other people I don’t even know exist.
But that’s the source of all our energy isn’t it? The sense of thrill that accompanies the ignorance. The freedom to supply your own answer with the possibility that the real one could be a million times more interesting…or commonplace.
Maybe after a long winded ten hours, a family of four hauled that tree from the forest and finally fit it into their living room….or maybe a Walmart employee delivered it to their doorstep.
Maybe that fireplace has a mythical legend behind it, beseeching the superstitious owner of the house to leave the wood stocked lest they face an eternal winter…or maybe there’s a stressed single parent inside who can just never seem to find the time.
And why is the TV playing to the empty couch? Was the couple watching suddenly dragged out the backdoor by a couple of rogue IRS officers?…Or did the family dog step on the remote again?
The best thing about these questions is that I don’t have the answer. Every new house I pass is a new adventure and a reminder that stories never end. That’s why I look into people’s houses because although I see them for only seconds at a time, the ideas they spark are forever. And nothing is more inspiring than an open-ended question.