Tavern on Cold Day, San Francisco | Mark Lindsay

Looking through a window during the winter season is so very evocative. Sometimes I’ll walk through the neighborhood at night just to feel the warm glow of light coming out from windows of all the homes. Incandescent light is magical at night, especially in the winter.

The days are so short and sun is so low that any light, even artificial, is welcome and bone-warming. Even in daylight, winter windows beacon. Shop windows, taverns, inns, and restaurants invite us in from the chill. From the outside, looking in, it all seems different. We see people interacting; laughing, talking, or even sitting alone. But, through the window we hear nothing. It’s all a silent movie.

It’s not that there is anything particular about any of the window scenes that is compelling. It is the separation between inside and outside, cold and warm, light and dark, that draws us towards the winter window. Whether in a foreign city, or on our own street, we see windows at night and wonder about the magic of the interior space. Winter windows forever enchant us like the frozen vignette of an Impressionistic scene in Paris.