Dick's Blog

“Window Panes”, Chapter 20 of “Inside and Outside: Messages of Hope from a Lifelong Hiker and Depression Survivor"

IMG 0711


Welcome back to my free memoirs. You can access all the chapters in my first memoir, “Hiking Out”, and all chapters posted to date of my second memoir, “Inside and Outside”, by going to my BLOG and clicking on the appropriate book title at dicksederquist.com  

This Week, “Window Panes”, Chapter 20 (we look for the emergence of tiny buds)

Next Week, “Four Legged Hiker”, Chapter 21 (gliding a foot above the floor between rows of empty desks)


Our Universalist church has a long and constant history of stability. The average tenure of our last four senior ministers is 15 years. Since my wife and I joined 19 years ago, we have known two senior ministers and two interim ministers, while we were searching for a new senior minister. The search procedure through the Unitarian Universalist Association is a well-defined, demanding and orderly process. We just completed a successful search for a new senior minister who will start his service to our congregation this summer. We expect another long and productive ministry. Another constant in our church history are the windows of our sanctuary. Cradling and nurturing our congregation and ministry over the years are ten magnificent windows, five on each side of our beautiful sanctuary. Our windows lookout on the world, a visual portal from an open, transparent, democratic, inclusive and welcoming congregation. We are truly blessed to sit here and receive the light through our magnificent windows.

Window Panes

As I sit in the pew of our church sanctuary, I count five very large, tall windows on either side, each containing fifty rectangular bottom panes and twelve curved irregular top panes filling the arch of each window. That’s a 620-pane mosaic view. The load bearing walls between the windows form columns that help to support the curved ceiling over our heads. The windows look out on sky, trees, plantings and the walls and roof lines of adjacent properties. Half of the year, the trees display their finery, sometimes motionless, and often waving to us. Half of the year, we look for the emergence of tiny buds and the promise of new light green foliage. Our minister recognizes that often, even during her excellent and thought-provoking sermons, those same thoughts some- times cause individuals in the congregation to drift off into their private reveries, their view often directed through the panes of our magnificent windows. I wonder how many of us at a time are looking outward as our thoughts turn inward. I guess only our minister would know since she has the vantage point of looking directly into our faces.

On dreary days, the rain sometimes runs in sheets and rivulets over the panes, distorting the outside view. On dreary days of the soul, the film forming between our eyes and the windows blurs our ability to see the emerging buds, losing hope in the renewal of life. I wonder if during these times our minister can see the light from those 620 window panes reflected in our eyes.

I sent the above thoughts to our minister. She returned my message with these kind words. “It was like a meditation to me. Those windows are dear to us. And yes, I do look out into so many eyes and see the light that shines in all these lives.”

Next Week, “Four Legged Hiker”, Chapter 21 (gliding a foot above the floor between rows of empty desks)

Dick Sederquist is a retired engineer, engineering consultant, writer, author, hiker, motivational speaker and cancer and depression survivor. Dick suffered an emotional breakdown 35 years ago, realizing that he had been depressed all his life. That started his long journey back to mental health and happiness. Dick writes motivational and inspirational nonfiction short stories and essays for general audiences on many topics including life, family, humor, spirituality, nature, science, his volunteer prison experiences, hiking and travel adventures, depression, overcoming adversity, and what the author refers to as “home improvement”, healing the mind and body we live in. Dick and his wife have been married 50 years; have two grown children and four grandchildren, all part of a close-knit, active, caring and loving family. The whole family believes that the greatest gift in life is helping others.


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Thursday, 22 February 2018