What Do You See From Your Window?

December 21, 2022

Shortly after the pandemic began, a new Facebook group was created, with the simple idea of inviting members to post photos of what they saw from their windows (with remarks about where they were posting from). I really enjoyed logging on daily, and seeing gorgeous pictures of Romania, Austria, Cornwall, Iceland. It was armchair travel, so welcome when none of us could travel anywhere.

Over the past few years, the group grew in size to an amazing 600,000 people. Unlike so many other online groups that devolved into division and sniping, “What Do You See from Your Window?remained a reliable oasis of friendliness and warmth. Even now, with the world opening up again, the group is still going strong.

While any member is allowed to post, some folks are more frequent contributors—and a few of them share consistently delightful snapshots and reflections. There’s Angelika in France, who photographs, and concocts adorably fanciful tales about, the squirrels who visit her “Sunflower Watch Sill.” There’s Pascal, who gorgeously photographs his town of Sorrento, Italy, and posts regular reflections about life and love, especially his love for his wife Monica.

But most of all, there has been the moderator Layne, who originally hailed from the UK but lived in Cyprus. She posted nearly every day. Over time, the group got to know and love her, her visiting family, her singing group of expats, the teddy bears she whimsically posed and gave personalities, even the colorful laundry drying on her balcony. I looked forward to Layne’s quirky, funny and affectionate takes on life and, like thousands of others, came to regard her as a friend.

In March, Layne first mentioned being sick. She never dwelled on her health, and usually posted about almost anything else. She began feeling weak, and went out for what she called “wobbles,” instead of walks. Unfailingly upbeat through lots of pain and treatments, it seemed inconceivable that Layne wouldn’t find a way to beat her cancer.

Layne’s last post was on December 11. Days of silence, then her sister Lynn posted that she was traveling to Cyprus to be with Layne. And, Sunday morning: “Layne is flying with the angels.” This special woman, who loved showing us her beloved island in the Mediterranean from her window, is now mourned by more than half a million people. Including me.

Every one of Layne’s posts ended the same way: “Tell someone you love them. Keep it kind. See you tomorrow. Love and light from Cyprus.” Layne, and the group’s creator Arik, grew an incredible online community at a time when the world had shut down. I hope that the group will continue now, without dear Layne. That’s what she would want, I am sure.

Since her death, I’ve been more grateful for the world views I’ve glimpsed, through so many windows. I thank God I can still see through mine, and I will do my best to share love, every day I’m given to live. And to keep it kind.


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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