In response to my last blog post, Mom mentioned it bringing to mind a favorite writing she's read: Windows of Gold. She emailed it to me, so I thought I would pass it along to you all. It is very sweet and really changes your perspective on where you might be in life; whether it's on the mountaintop or in the valley.
Windows of Gold
My Grandmother's favorite story was called "Windows of Gold." She told it to me many times while I was a child. It begins in a small village, nestled in a valley, where a young man is dissatisfied with his mundane existence in the sleepy town. But every evening, after his work in the fields is done, he looks up to the mountain where another town clung to the cliffs. He was always transfixed, for every window in that magical, far-off berg had windows of gold.
All of his life, he had yearned to make the arduous journey up from the valley to that wonderful place, and to see the windows of gold for himself. One morning, he could stand his ordinary life no more, dropped his plow, and set off to climb the mountain.
It took him all day to make the ascent. At times he was tempted to give up and return to the safety of his home. But as the afternoon wore on, his eye caught reflections of those windows of gold, and he found the strength to continue.
The lad finally reached his destination just as the last rays of the sun were fading below the horizon behind him. And there were the windows of gold! But what was this? No sooner had he finally seen his tantalizing goal up close but their spectacular color was ebbing away.
And as the sun finally set, he realized: these were just ordinary windows, the same as those in his own village. They were simply reflecting the afternoon sun when seen from down in the valley.
Dejected, he fell into a troubled sleep.
The following morning, he awoke, and turned to make the long journey back. But he stopped in his track in disbelief. There, down in the valley, in his own town, every home had windows of gold - reflections from the rising sun. With renewed strength and a smile born of understanding and peace of heart, he cheerfully set about his descent down to his home and its windows of gold.
I always liked this story because it has a happy ending. The similar concepts of "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence," or the story of the dog who drops his bone to grab at the one reflecting in the pond, both end in personal loss. Whereas "Windows of Gold" is more like the Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy comes to realize that she had actually always possessed that which she had left home to find, and happily returns home to embrace it.
It also brings to my mind, a quote that really struck me some time back. "People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within." ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross