Views change

Over the Canada Day long weekend, I was visiting a lovely old family friend a few hundred kilometres from home.

My cousin and I took the opportunity presented by the three-day weekend to travel to the interior of British Columbia, there to catch up with this elderly woman and her local family. We took my cousin’s car. I was mostly content to relax into the weekend, letting my cousin set the pace and pattern.

Sunday over dinner, we were discussing the possibility of a new apartment building being constructed on the slope below her own. One of the first comments in the conversation was, “I hope they don’t ruin my view.”

I looked out at the view, and reminded myself to capture the image with the morning sun. Truly, her suite is focused on the view to the southeast and it is a gorgeous view. It’s filled with the valley floor, the river, and mountains and cliffs in the distance. In the morning light it really is breathtaking. A taller building would obstruct the morning sun.

Were a taller building constructed in front of my own suite I too would be disappointed in losing the view. In fact, I was; years ago, by a building one storey higher than my own 6th floor suite. The view from my suite changed significantly during construction, and after completion even more so. My new neighbours across the way liked to put on, uh, shows. I found myself closing the curtains more often, and reminding myself that more than a towel was necessary when I was just from the shower.

I adapted. She’ll adapt, if a new building is constructed. Views change.

That’s what I said to my cousin and our friend as we looked out at the potential changes to her view. Even without new construction, her view will change over time. Some of the changes will occur slowly, as trees encroach the walkway and sides of her building. Other changes occur quickly, as the plants grow, and traffic loads on the highway below change with the seasons. Some changes will provide delight, and others cause sadness.

Still others cause us to sit in wonder, like her living room view of sunrise.

During the course of the weekend, we learned that our lovely friend is considering retiring to another nearby town, slightly larger than her own. The change places her closer to medical facilities as well as her children and their families.

Views change. We adapt.

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