Monday, 1 November 2021

Feeding the Reservoir (aka Soaking up the View from my Window)

By Mazzy Adams

A writer’s inclination to observe people and places is common, if not intrinsic, as it informs the character characteristics and settings we create for our readers. But for months, opportunities to casually watch passers-by while sipping a caramel latte inside a coffee shop, or freely travel to another place just to see what’s there, have languished in the realms of wishful thinking. Whether introvert or extrovert, opportunities to top up our creative reservoirs have taken a hit.  

It’s not surprising that, as global conditions have created compelling reasons to stay at home, innovative online groups have created new ways for people to connect and explore the world.

Last year, I joined a group called ‘View from My Window’. Precious glimpses into the daily lived experience of folk from across the globe have broadened my view of the world and the people in it. The views shared range from earthy to exotic, workaday to wondrous, and shabby to sublime, yet each outlook has someone to belong to, and a message to share. 

My home office window offers a homely, garden outlook (complete with bonus self-seeded weeds; freebies courtesy of the birds and the breeze) but, as I recently discovered, the view from my window was waiting, willing, and wanting to refill my depleted creative reservoir with gentle reminders and encouragements. I just needed to stop and listen to its words and stories.   

The garden began life as a goldfish pond, dug by hand out of compacted clay and lined when our children were youngsters; I relive the happy memory of their delighted squeals as they enjoyed a fun-filled ‘test swim’ before we added the water plants and fish.

Years of drought and water restrictions drove the pond’s reinvention into a garden that requires, and receives, minimal maintenance, but the elements I can see—from the plants, to the rocks, to the scar created by the chair which temporarily supports the rainwater tank’s overflow pipe—all bear witness to precious truths. 

The garden has a peaceful palm tree which sheds its dead leaves from time to time, and a beautiful-in-its-wild-and-messy-growth-pattern olive tree which I planted about twelve years ago. 

The palm tree whispers, ‘Don’t hold on to dead regrets, nor things that have passed their season of flourishing and must relinquish their moment of glory to make way for the new things God is doing now. Let them go. Draw water and nourishment from the reservoir of God’s word to grow and nurture new branches for this season.’ Without the weight of these dead things, I can confidently reach ever heavenward, to give my Lord honour and glory, and draw ever closer to Him in relationship. 

The olive tree reminds me to give thanks for my blessed heritage in God, which is rooted in history, in His chosen people, in the promises given in His word and received by faith, for all who are children of God, branches of His Olive Tree, natural or engrafted. 

The agapanthus remind me of the joys of my childhood (when I loved to ‘pop’ their swollen buds to release the bloom). They encourage me to always rejoice in the blessed innocence my Heavenly Father has given to me through Jesus Christ, to come boldly and confidently into His presence as a loved and accepted child, and to bloom and expand where He’s planted me. 

The agaves remind me that, in Christ, I can flourish in the harshest of conditions. I can raise my hands and the centre of my heart and soul to Him even when I’m feeling spiky, or bashed and battered by the hail of adversity. He sends His rain, and His love, upon the just and the unjust alike. When I willingly receive the mercy He rains upon me into the centre of my being, He refreshes me and renews my life. 

The papery bark of the native Australian melaleuca reminds me that God enables my writing and inspires my uniquely Aussie style; I can trust Him to direct and send my words to the world from this Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. 

The violets growing under it remind me that, just as they bring forth purple blossoms in season, as I also dwell in the shelter of the Most High, rest in the shadow of the Almighty, and experience and enjoy all the promises of Psalm 91, then the outworking of His grace will be as evident in me, and attractive as the pretty purple faces of those violets. 

The rocks and pebbles remind me that I am part of the house that is being built together in love and fellowship, founded on Jesus Christ, The Rock of Salvation, and the Chief Cornerstone. 

The visual scar created by the poly pipe—a temporary ‘fix’ to channel the overflow from the water tank—reminds me that God can even use my imperfect efforts and temporary solutions to channel His overflowing, life-giving anointing to where it’s needed. As I turn my attention to my computer screen and keyboard, this knowledge renews my passion and energy for the tasks intrinsic to the ministry of creative writing and publishing to which I feel called.

The jade reminds me to be mindful of the cultural beliefs and sensitivities of others, and to respect every individual, whatever their background or origin. We have one of these growing beside the entrance to our property too. The first day the grandparent of one of our students met us, she was thrilled to see the jade, explaining that, in her culture, it was a positive emblem that bode well for her grandchildren as they sought to advance their education and understanding with us, and that gave her joy, peace, and a feeling of well-being. 

And finally, hidden in the secret place in the depths of the earth, the bulbs of the hippeastrum wait patiently for their time to come, when their blood red trumpets burst forth, rising to announce their presence to the world. And, because I know my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, my heart begins to sing: 

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of his resurrection share;
When his chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. [Refrain]

Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun;
Let us talk of all his wondrous love and care.
Then when all of life is over and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. [Refrain]

Just as there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven, the view from my window is not static and the photos I’ve shared reflect some of those seasonal variations. 

I wonder, have recent seasons caused you to slow down … hunker down … stare wistfully out the window, longing for freedom? 

Whatever elements the view from your window frames—picturesque or ordinary—have they, do they, could they remind you of God’s faithfulness? Speak to you of endurance? Or something even more profound? Will you pause to listen to their stories?

Who knows, perhaps they’ll whisper, ‘It’s time to write and/or send the words you’ve been given out into the world to connect with the very people who wait to receive them.’ What an exciting thought!

[Copyright Information: 
Hymn: When the Roll is Called up Yonder; Music and Lyrics by James M Black, 1893, Public Domain.
Images: Mazzy Adams 2021]

Mazzy Adams is a published author of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. She has a passion for words, pictures, and the positive potential in people. 



  1. Beautiful thoughts, Mazzy--thank you. I loved looking through your window too and noting the lessons and reminders from God to be found there. I love looking through the window right in front of my desk here and seeing the different shrubs and native trees, as well as a big slice of sky! Always something to take in, as I gaze out there, for sure.

    1. Thanks Jo-Anne. How lovely it is to think of you sharing the view from my window with me. Now it's as though I can feel your beautiful self in the room with me. Isn't it so gracious of our heavenly dad to bring his children together like that in spirit and in truth?

      I have a lovely 'big sky' view from my front porch, often resplendent with stunning sunsets. I never grow weary of it. How could I, when its constant artistic nuances show forth God's glory?

  2. Thanks for sharing all your lovely views and thoughts, Mazzy. I love the garden ones too. I, too, see 'View from my Window' and enjoy it. And those dear little violets which I love - and of course 'my psalm' with them.

    1. Thank you Jeanette. What a joy to know we share those special connections - to the "View from my Window" group, the violets, and Psalm 91 (which is so special) - and of course to our precious Lord and Saviour.

  3. Thank you for these lovely thoughts, Mazzy. There is such beauty in nature. I remember years ago realising that the leaves on trees are not just green - I looked and saw so many colours among the green. There is so much beauty around us. God, give us the eyes to see.

    1. Yes, all those different greens ... and greys, and yellows, and reds, and pinks, and oranges, and browns ... such a feast for the eyes.

      Oh, and how we need God-given eyes to see with clarity from His perspective.

      I remember the first time I got glasses as a child of ten ... I walked out onto the street and realised that 'leaves' weren't massive green blobs on top of trunks, because, for the first time, I could see their individual shape and definition.

  4. Thanks for sharing those thoughts, Mazzy. My study window looks out onto our patio, a real blessing for those sunny days (or in Toowoomba at least 'not windy' days). Having you and other friends over yesterday reminded me that I don't get out there nearly enough. As well as nice solitary times with a book and a cuppa, there have been many lovely times out there with family and friends. In fact, this year I've been a bit of a homebody and haven't gotten out in nature nearly as much as I'd like. It's amazing how God can speak to us in those times if we'll just stop and listen. My well could certainly do with some replenishing. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Thanks Nola. My beloved and I were both greatly blessed and refreshed as we celebrated your milestone birthday yesterday - albeit belatedly - it was so lovely chatting to friends both old and new.

      I love your friendly patio and indoor/outdoor room too - especially because of all the wonderful times I've spent there with you and other friends. Having the opportunity to soak up that ambience has inspired and released a few creative writing pieces in days past, including at least one poem that's been published since. So I've a special fondness for fellowshipping there.

  5. It is important to take time to ponder and wonder, and plod a wander, perhaps the plot and worship of our lives and the lives we write would be more fulfilled and fulfilling :)

    I like your opening statement : "A writer’s inclination to observe people and places is common, if not intrinsic, as it informs the character characteristics and settings we create for our readers" .


  6. Thanks for commenting Shane. You are in the business of truly 'hearing' and 'seeing' people - the only way to connect and serve sensitively. And yes, whether in written form or in conversation, positive outflow flows best when we take time to worship and refresh.