*Standing on the Roof

We took the air conditioner out of the bedroom window on Wednesday. The window now offers a good sized view, just over four feet by four feet, or 1 3/4 sq metres facing east. The window slides sideways, which is a pain for the a/c but lovely for a breeze, and I climbed out to stand on the flat roof above the kitchen and back balcony. This is the view:

rooftops in fall

Those are garages behind the houses that have them, these houses having been built over a 100 years ago, when the park nearby still had horse troughs.

And this:

trees in fall from flat roof

I see that birch in all season, generously shading our house though it grows next door, making my daughter sneeze in spring, serving up seeds to squirrels, bare and brightly white in winter moonlight.

While I was taking the photos, I heard a man swearing somewhere to the north. I couldn’t tell what he was angry about but whatever it was, he was emphatic. Now there’s just the sound of the rain and and the slur of wheels: traffic that can’t been seen from my window, just heard behind the green and gold and red of trees, brick, chimney pots that have no function now that high efficiency furnaces are the norm and exhausted through pipes.

I like chimney pots. They’re old and these houses are old and they are comforting. I want to show you a picture, so I just walked over to the west side of the house, thinking I might get a better view. But no–trees are in the way. And then I went back to my desk, put my head out the window and noticed that, yes, there is a chimney visible from here and it’s smoking. There is still an old furnace among my neighbours. (Further down the street someone has a 19th century boiler; it was the only heater in the neighbourhood that worked during the power outage last winter)

chimney pots back roof fall

Last night I had worries. I woke up from a bad dream. I forgot what I was supposed to keep at the centre of my heart. It is here: beauty of the chimney pots on a day of rain.

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11 thoughts on “*Standing on the Roof

  1. I hate those things on top of houses, but probably because here they’re all vents–almost no one has chimneys. And there seem to be a dozen on every house. Yours ARE comforting. So old and stable. And the rain, too.

    1. Louise, our (new) furnace is vented out the back from the basement. I haven’t seen roof vents here.

  2. Very nice…made me miss Toronto very much (as I often do at this time of year).

    1. Thanks for coming by, Phila. This is a nice time of year in Toronto. We even had fall strawberries up to a week ago.

  3. I have always wanted to go to Toronto, which I think of as Ondaatje country. This gives me a wonderful view.

  4. It feels very real, somehow, to see out of your windows – much better than a carefully chosen landscape or a particular landmark. Thank you for a slice of your life!

  5. Beth, thanks and I hope you come to Toronto sometime and we can get together. It looks like a dull city as you’re driving on the 401 from the airport, but the neighbourhoods are wonderful to walk through. It’s a world tour really.

    Litlove I’m so glad you enjoyed it. That’s how I felt looking at your study at the college.

  6. I love the smoking chimney, Lilian, it is so basic and so nurturing at the same time. To me is says welcome and shelter, and it warms me just looking at it.

    1. Di–yes! That is exactly what it evokes for me, too.

  7. I’m sure I have a dreamy smile on my face!

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