I work in an older building in downtown Portland. Many years ago it was a J.C. Penney’s department store – it still has a floor called the Mezzanine, or “the Mezz” – but now it is just offices. This past Fall, workers began a project to repair and repaint the exterior. I watched them assemble scaffolding that climbed the outside walls like modular ivy. Then they wrapped the entire building in heavy white plastic sheeting. Here are two pictures that show how it looked from the street.Every day we walked through this tunnel to get to the building entrance.The plastic not only blocked any view out the window, it prevented most of the daylight from getting in:This week the project was completed and workers with sharp knives cut through the plastic wrapping. Big chunks of plastic tumbled down the side of the building.At the street level, workers folded the plastic into huge bundles on the back of a truck.When these two saw me taking pictures, they provided a pose.I went upstairs to see what was happening outside my window.The street below peeked through.
As soon as the plastic fell away from my window, the sun came out.The scaffolding will probably come down next week.Now I will tell about something that happened the day before the plastic was removed, which was St. Valentine’s Day. When my co-worker came to work that morning, she saw this:Someone had cut a heart in the plastic outside her window. The picture below does not do justice to the lovely care and precision with which it was done.I went outside to see what it looked like from there.If I had not known the heart was there, I doubt that I would have noticed it. What a great reminder to myself to tune in and see what’s around me!