LAKE STEVENS — Share with the world what you see from your window.
A simple snapshot to connect with others during quarantine has become a global obsession.
What’s up with that?
The “View From My Window” public Facebook group started in March 2020 by a Belgian graphic designer now has 3.1 million followers, including some from Snohomish County.
A bio by founder Barbara Duriau says: “We were going to be in confinement, at home with a single solitary view from our window for many long weeks. What is that view on the other side of the world? And what if I asked internet users to take photos of their views and share them with other isolated people?”
Though no longer trapped at home, the power of the Facebook page endures.
“It’s an incredible site. It’s so positive,” said Monica Larsen, 53, of Lake Stevens.
On Jan. 3, Larsen posted a look at her snowy backyard with the holiday-lit playhouse built by her father.
“Dad still lives on the property in a 525-square-foot cabin,” she wrote. “He’s 80 years old and going strong. He built the house in 1972 that we live in.”
The post got some 4,600 likes. Comments came from around the world, many about fathers and childhood memories.
Two volumes of “View From My Window” photos have been published in books selling for about $35, with proceeds going to UNICEF. On Thursday, a photo exhibit is set to open in a gallery in Brussels, Belgium.
The Facebook group’s rules are basic:
Only one post per person, from home only. No photos from a hotel, office, car or dog walk. No people photos. No food pics.
Be courteous. No political, religious, negative or derogatory comments, harassment, hate speech or bullying.
Many captions are short.
“This is what I see from my front porch in Sandnessjøen, a small town in the north of Norway.” “Skyros, Greece. Hello to everyone!” “From Pune, India. Lovely morning with peacock’s sweet voice.” “Good morning from Israel.”
Larsen was touched by the responses to the photo of her Lake Stevens yard with the playhouse that is now her greenhouse.
“People were very sweet, caring, complimentary,” said Larsen, a stylist at BreCyn Salon in Everett. “It truly moved me and still does reading them again. I’m really in awe that the comments came from all over the world, from Australia, West Africa, Guatemala, all over the U.S. and even locally.”
Melissa Batson snapped a wintry shot through the front window of her Monroe home.
“I live in a small house and it is perfect for me and my cats Bedford and Artemis,” Batson wrote on the February post.
The cats were not pictured. Responses poured in with good wishes for her kitties and warm wishes from many states and countries.
“The corner of your sky is AWESOME!” a Texan wrote.
Another said: “Hi from Derry in Ireland.”
Tammy Comeau posted a photo on March 13 from her Snohomish living room that shows Mount Pilchuck.
“I like to sit in that piece of my yard. That’s my happy place,” said Comeau, 61, a Heritage Bank worker.
People responded from near and far: “Being from a very flat Indiana corn state, this view is awesome. Hello from Brook, Indiana.”
Comeau said she enjoys the variety of photos shared.
“It doesn’t have to be anything grand or spectacular. Seeing everyone’s piece of the world and how they make it their own, even if it’s something simple, they still brought joy from it,” she said.
In recent weeks, Ukrainians have shared photos mostly of their country pre-war.
A March 10 photo by Ukrainian artist Anatoly Melaniy shows two pigeons on a window ledge. “Even birds want love, happiness and peace,” the caption reads.
Melaniy asked his son, Nikita, also in Ukraine, to reply to a request from The Daily Herald about his family.
“There are three of us — me, mom and dad,” the son wrote in an email. “We moved to Irpin from Donetsk when this war started. Now my parents are in evacuation in Western Ukraine. I work as a war correspondent at a military hospital in Kyiv.”
The photo was taken in June 2020. It is not what is seen from his window now.
The post received over 13,000 likes and 2,000 comments, many similar to this from New Jersey: “Your spirit is beautiful. So sorry your country is going through this madness. Sending hugs to comfort you, strength to lean on and prayers for peace. Please stay safe.”
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com. Twitter @reporterbrown.
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