In thinking back to when I was younger, I only have vague memories of a miniature TV we used to have. It was so small that if my dad stood in front of it, I could have sworn that you wouldn’t be able to see the TV behind him. In fact, I recall that it was even smaller than our computer (which isn’t very big). The quality was horrible too, but I never really noticed. I just remember being enthralled in being able to watch our 20-year-old DVDs on this tiny screen. Watching TV was a treat for me as a young child, since we probably watched something only about once every month or so. We never watched shows, just DVDs. That was something to look forward to; something to provide me with mild entertainment.
Then, one day, it was gone. My parents gave our TV away to goodwill, just like that. I was confused, but not upset. It wasn’t like we watched it everyday. Still, I wouldn’t have minded having a TV in the house.
“We’ll get a new one,” my parents assured me. “A bigger one. A better one.”
But we never did.
So, I turned to a new form of entertainment. Whenever I was bored; so bored that I could not bear to read another book or even play outside, I stared out my window. Like magic, my window transformed into my very own TV screen. It had practically every channel a child like me would ever want.
I watched my younger neighbors squabble over their games outside. I watched squirrels chase one another up trees. I watched leaves dancing in the wind. In June, the towering jacaranda tree in front of my house would bud dazzling purple flowers, which drifted down with the wind and blanketed the ground. Once, I even watched two neighbors yell at each other over nothing. When I was around eight years old, some wasps built a nest right on the outside of my parents’ bedroom window. This was the beginning of a brand new channel on my TV. I watched, captivated, as the wasps buzzed around, building a nest. Whenever I had nothing to do, all I had to do was stare out the window and see my very own nature show. As far as my concerns went, it was far better than any TV. Meanwhile, my mother was constantly teaching piano downstairs, providing the perfect soundtrack to my shows.
Every so often these days, my family reconsiders getting a new TV. But I never get too involved in those conversations-- because I’m perfectly content. While everyone else was busy watching strangers act out scenes on their emotionless black screens, I found out a secret:
The best source of entertainment is right outside your window.