Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.
I don’t have to get off my chair for this prompt; the nearest window is twelve inches from the back of my computer screen. Or rather it’s a bank of windows which ‘look’, as they say, onto the front yard and the street. But I look, and I can’t see much of either. In a full minute, I see a small green forest, a patchwork of trees, some planted by us, others by nature. Leaves of diverse shapes sway in a light breeze. To the right are seven-lobed maple leaves and conventional one-lobed leaves of an unidentified shade tree which made its home where carnations once grew. To the left, three rich green ash trees grow up beyond the roof. The blue-grey needles of the spruce provide the only contrast, its branches inversely arching as it towers into the sky, blending with the blue heavens where today there’s no sign of fires or storms. A good day. From a small drawer beside the window, I take out a camera to photograph the scene and a black currawong flies into the frame and sits on a branch, keeping his eye on me. I move to get a better view of him but he doesn’t trust me and jumps to another branch, then another, and flies away.
In this full minute I neither saw nor heard another human. But now, as I write, toddlers are squealing and mothers chatting in the flats opposite. Always a comforting sound, like a promise.