Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring in Central Park

Spring in Central Park

The trees were starting to bloom in Central Park in New York on my birthday weekend.
We had yet ANOTHER snowstorm back in Chicago, two weeks later.
No fair!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We didn't go to either the Chicago or the New York parades this year, so here's a shot of the dye-ing of the Chicago River from last year.

The Dye-ing of the Chicago River 4

You can see the whole set here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coming full circle again

Sunrise at Natchez Trace

When I was a kid, I used to love getting up super-early in the morning, especially in the summer when we were down on our boat on the weekends. I used to tip-toe past my sleeping family, pulling on a sweatshirt over my t-shirt and shorts, then slide into the attached dinghy and release the line. The seat would be wet with dew, but the water was smooth and everything around me was silent. I would row as quietly as possible, trying to pull hard on the oars so I could glide for a long time before the thunk-thunk of the oars would bang against the rings. I wouldn't go far, just up and down the creek of the boat club, never really out of sight of my parent's boat, but it felt like being a different world. Sometimes there would be a few other early risers sitting on the back decks of their boats, and they would wave hello to me while sipping out of their coffee mugs.

Eventually the sun would start to burn through the thin fog, and the dew and the cool air would disappear. I would stop long enough then to peel off my sweatshirt, and turn the dinghy back to head home. My parents and sisters would be getting up soon; the new day was about to begin. But I always loved that time to myself in that first hour of day; the promise of what was to come, the beauty of the earth waking up, the quiet.

As I got into my teens, of course, I started to sleep in, and by college, it had become a badge of honor to see how late I could sleep. Would I miss brunch entirely on the weekends? Then it was off to Chicago and my "grownup life", and the sleeping late on weekends trend continued. Eventually I got married, and several years back my husband shifted his sleeping patterns so he would get up super-early for work, and then, on the weekends too. Last year I finally shifted my sleeping pattern to match his, and now I find myself waking up at 4:30 every morning. And just like I did thirty years ago, I revel in the time to myself, watching the day unfold outside, appreciating the quiet.

I turn 40 tomorrow. It astonishes me to realize that although most things in my life are completely different than when I was a child, the core things about me are still there. I still love playing games and cards, I still love to read and learn, I'm still a blonde (mostly, haha) and I still love those early hours of the day, where everything is new and possible.