A newly created Facebook page has been all the rage lately: show the world what you see by posting a view from your window
Staying connected while staying apart is not easy when over half of the world’s population is currently in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most people’s freedom of movement has drastically been limited, ending at the fence of their property. But that’s where the power of the internet kicks in, and Ajit (AJ) Rekhy, a Canada-based photographer, felt inspired rather than confined: she created a public Facebook group, titled View from my window, which allows people from every nook and cranny of the globe to show off the beauty, the serenity, or the quirk that resides in their back yard and beyond.
After only a couple of weeks, tens of thousands of members have already heeded the call and posted photos, and the page is growing at lightning speed. Close to 150 nations are represented so far, from France to the United States, from Algeria to Israel, from New Zealand to Kenya, from Japan to Romania, from Peru to Iceland… and thousands of photos make this FB page one of the most addictive and educational ones out there.
The page is a veritable potpourri of views: stunning sunsets, funny snapshots of a world screeched to an abrupt halt, million dollar views, typical urban scenery, remarkable monuments, sweeping prairies, an occasional visitor from the animal kingdom, adorable pets, a lone shrub or a forest of palm trees, homely backyards, lovingly tended city balconies, stark architecture, bucolic landscapes, the roaring ocean, or the vastness of an endless horizon… Some locations look nothing like what you would expect, others have a familiar feeling to them because of a famous landmark. There are views of parking lots and manicured lawns by the pool, dazzling metropolitan skylines and lush Gardens of Eden. And there are some photographic gems that frame even mundane scenes in a whole new light.
You also watch nature in its seasonal transition – the last throes of winter in the Northern regions, the awakening of spring in more moderate climes, and the last autumn days and the turning of leaves in the Southern hemisphere. Those who missed out on spring this year are reminded that trees and shrubs are in bloom… And all this beauty in every corner of the world really makes you want to protect nature and take good care of it.
Sharing these vistas is a private and public act at the same time. You are a total stranger, invited on a virtual visit to someone’s home. And all of sudden you feel deeply connected. Connected with the people who show you the world through their eyes. Connected with the planet that offers such an abundance of stunning beauty. You reach out, form new friendships, and suddenly understand you are truly part of a global family that’s all in this together. Borders, religious beliefs, political persuasions, skin colour… they don’t count anymore here. It’s about unity at an unprecedented moment in time, a moment that we all share no matter where we are.
But wherever you look, no matter how rich or humble the environment, pride of home and land is palpable. Many photos are posted along with good wishes for everyone’s safety and well-being in these difficult times. All posts get encouraging and positive comments. The well-to-do rarely flash their wealth, and Citizen Lambda is not jealous of the more privileged ones. Everyone just wants to spread a bit of cheer and send best wishes for the rest of the world to get through this time as safely as possible. Even some internationally published photographers like Martina Schikore from Munich, Germany, Brian McInnis from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and Zoë Louise shared the views from their homes. This is humanity at its best.
This invitation to armchair-travel is certainly one of the most inspired and positive initiatives that anyone has come up during this exceptional time, giving us all a real reason to #stayhome. Well-deserved kudos to AJ Rekhy, the creator of this FB page, and all who generously open their home to virtual visitors and help build an uplifting community! Beyond the much needed inspiration there is also a lot to be learned about the world, something that especially those who cannot travel a lot, will appreciate. We therefore hope that once lockdown is over, this page continues to exist as a window into the world. And from what we hear through the grapevine, a book commemorating this peculiar period in time with the photos posted to this group might also be in the making down the line.
Note: there is another Facebook group with the same name. While we fully respect and appreciate that group’s good work and content, this article refers exclusively to the group founded by AJ Rekhy
Lead photo: AJ Rekhy; all other photos reproduced from “View from my window” with their authors’ kind permission.