Borrowed View

When my husband and I were buying less cared for homes and fixing them up for resale with lots of curb appeal and a few cosmetic details, we often heard the realtor say this phrase: “borrowed view”. This described the next door property’s magnificent trees or sloping landscape or pond. We learned to use it as a selling point when we were ready to move on to the next place.

This phrase has been jumping out at me lately, though I no longer own a home and my landlord extraordinaire does all the necessary repairs. I am lucky to have a borrowed view of the Willamette River, if I step out and walk around a building or two. I walk along this river any time I like, thanks to the City of Corvallis, Oregon.

I’ve been mostly thinking of the phrase in terms of not needing to be in possession of something in order to enjoy it thoroughly. For instance, I have no children of my own but for 18 years I taught and enjoyed the company of the young people I was lucky to be with eight hours a day. While that in no way compares with being a mother, it was my “borrowed view”; I have so many anecdotes that still bring me joy and from which I learned life lessons. That is the biggest and best benefit of being a teacher.

My current joy is to visit the dogs of down town Corvallis. More than ten business owners bring their 4-legged friends to work each day on Second Street alone! This is particularly meaningful to me since I live in an apartment without pets and I miss their company profoundly. These working dogs are my new “borrowed view”. Through this experience I have come to know that while I no longer own some of the things I did ten years ago (due to major life changes), I do know where I can go to find what I need. In this case, it’s the comfort of canines. I borrow their kindness for a little bit each day.

I am learning what I really do want to (or am able to) invest in and what I am happy to just borrow or share for short bits of time.


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