The Warmth from the Windows
Welcoming Yourself into Your Own Life
Thomas Kinkade with Anne Christian Buchanan


Someone asked me once why I paint so many houses and cottages with warm, glowing windows.  At first I didn't know what to say.  After all, how does an artist explain why he paints what he does?

I've thought a lot about that question, though, and now I think I have an answer.  I paint glowing windows because glowing windows say home to me.  Glowing windows say welcome.  They say all is well.  They say that someone's waiting, someone cares enough to turn a light on.

For a person like me, who grew up in a single-parent household and often had to come home to an empty house, that "someone's home" glow is irresistible.  It draws the eye like a brightly wrapped present, a promise of wonderful secrets inside.  Can you see a brightly lit window without even the smallest urge to go peek in, to see what the people are doing and what their lives are like?  I can't either.

In fact, as I am dabbing brushfuls of golden paint on those windows--whether on a rambling Victorian mansion or a tiny little fishing cabin--I am always imagining a world of family gatherings, of quiet times spent in the company of loved ones.

I can almost smell the toasty aromas of popcorn or pie baking.  I can hear the lively sounds of laughter and perhaps the tinkle of a music box. . . .

Conversation, too, is what I imagine going on behind the glowing windows in my paintings.

Lively conversation--about books, about old movies, about hopes and dreams, about the many blessings God gives us.  Conversation that can occupy a whole evening.  Conversation where people's lives touch in a meaningful way.

That kind of conversation has almost become a lost art in our high-tech age.  We became aware of this loss during a summer we spent in a little English village.  There, social activity is built around the town pub.  People gather there to eat a simple meal or drink the famous English ale, but mostly to talk and laugh.

Here in America, we've installed television sets everywhere so that people never have to converse.  Even restaurants have given in to this trend, and it is often difficult to find a table where you can escape the distracting glare of a television set.  Have you ever walked at night by a window where the television light was on?  The light is dim and cold.  But walk at night by a window where a fire is flickering, where a candle is lit, and see the difference.  The warm glow in the windows is so inviting that it draws you in.

It's not high-tech entertainment that puts the warmth in the windows, but human connection.  It's human warmth that makes up the golden glow.  And I think that most of us are instinctively drawn to that warmth.

And yet the glow in the windows is not reserved solely for families like mine.  The warmth is not exclusive, not unreachable.  The windows can shine wherever you find a resting place for your heart.

I think of my mother.  She and my father parted ways when I was very young, and she has lived alone for nearly twenty years, since the day my brother and I left for college.  And Yet her house always glows with that "someone's home" light because my mother, more than almost anyone I know, is serenely at home with herself. . . .

You can put that same light in your windows by surrounding yourself with your work and your play and your memories.  If you love art, cover your walls with paintings or prints that speak to your soul and bring you peace.  If you love music, put the piano in the center of the room and keep the stereo tuned to your favorite station.  Pad the sofa with fluffy pillows.  Drape a soft afghan on your favorite chair--and put a favorite book nearby.  And yes, you might want to light a candle on the windowsill.

You also put the light in your windows by sharing your life with others.  Invite neighbors or friends for an evening of checkers or chamber music or conversation, giving them a taste of your life.

But most of all, you put a light in the window by coming home to yourself.  By becoming friends with who you are and who you can be.  by finding a resting place for your heart.

Picture a place you're
yearning to be.
A place where work, home, and play are properly balanced, where people exist peaceably, where relationships flourish.  A place where there's time for what's really important.  Picture life the way you're hungry to live it, in your deepest heart of hearts.
Picture simpler time.

Like his warm, engaging paintings, this celebrated artist will help you discover how to create calm, not chaos; peace, not pressure, in your own life--a life of simpler times.


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