Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Lesson I Learned from The View

Sometimes life's little lessons come at you unexpectedly.

When The Wife and I bought our house several years ago, one of the things we liked about it was the view. We're up on a bit of a hillside, and from our house we can look out over almost the entire valley, including many different mountains to the north, northeast, and northwest of us. (Our front window faces the north.)

Here's a nice sunset as seen from our house.

After we had been in the house for a year or two, it was announced that the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) was going to be building a temple in a nearby town. When the site was chosen for the temple we were excited because we thought we might be able to see it from our house. Mormon temples are beautiful buildings. If we could see one from our house it would only enhance the already wonderful view from our front window.

As they built the temple, we were thrilled because, yes, we could see it from our front window! As they finished work on the temple it became clear that not only could we see the temple from our front window, we could also see it very clearly while sitting on our couch, which is located on the back wall of our living room. The view was gorgeous, and I was very proud of it.

A little too proud.

I began to look around our neighborhood and noticed that, while our house faces north, most of the other houses face either east or west. The people in those houses couldn't see the temple from their front windows, because their houses were turned the wrong way. There are a few houses above the hill from us that face south, so while they might see the temple from their back deck, they wouldn't be able to see it from their front window. There were only two or three other houses in the entire neighborhood that might be able to see the temple from their front window.

I started to crow a little, saying things like, "We're about the only house in this whole area that can see the temple from our front window." I enjoyed our view and I enjoyed the uniqueness of our view.

Of course, views can sometimes be blocked. I wasn't too concerned about this, though, because the chances of that happening to our view were slim to none. There was one little vacant lot down the hill from us where there was a slight chance if they built an oddly tall house or grew a tall tree in just the wrong place it might block our view. But the chances of that happening were negligible. The lot had been vacant for years, as were several other lots in our neighborhood.

I didn't think the lot would ever sell. When it did sell and someone began building a house on it, I still wasn't too concerned about losing our view. In fact, The Boy and I enjoyed watching from our window as the big digger came and dug the foundation of the house.

Why wasn't I worried? Because in order to block our view of the temple, the new house would have to be about twice as tall as the house next to it.

Here, construction on the house had started, but I still wasn't worried.  We could still see the temple quite well.
(The view of the temple was much better than it appears in this photo. This is just a blown-up corner of a camera-phone picture I took of the bus for a different story.)

You can probably guess what happened.

One day we came home and noticed they had added another level completely to the work they had already done on the house. Suddenly, it was about twice as tall as most of the houses in our neighborhood. Our view was blocked.

Okay, so we can still see the very top of the temple's steeple.
(And we can still see the mountains!)
Earlier, as I walked around bragging about our temple view, there was always something nagging at the back of my mind reminding me not to be bragging or boastful, because those things usually come back to bite you in the end. I didn't listen. So, instead, I had to learn my lesson.

(I should say here and now that I hold no ill feelings or ill will towards the family that is building the house. I've met them and they seem like very nice people, and I welcome them to our neighborhood. They found a lot they wanted, and they are building the house they want to build. I wish them well. I'm sure they didn't build their house there for the purpose of blocking my temple view.)

In the end, it's all okay. We can't see the temple from our front window anymore. But, from our front door we can see about half of the temple. If we walk out into our driveway we can see most of it, too. And, if we just walk down the hill a half a block, we have a lovely view of the temple.

I remember as a kid being forced to learn the song "It's a Grand Old Flag." I never liked that song. In it there is a line that boasts and brags about how America is a land "where there's never a boast or brag." Bragging and boasting about how you never boast or brag seems like a bad idea to me. 

And, as I recently learned, nothing good will come from boasting and bragging in general.

No comments:

Post a Comment