This is the time of year that can start to feel a little bit tedious if you’re not an avid winter lover…well, or even if you are. I appreciate the winter, and can certainly see the beauty in the snowy landscapes and cozy indoors. After living in Dublin for a while, I can say that I developed a warm glowing memory of well-insulated and cozy Canadian homes. But that’s the picturesque idea of winter we develop when we spend some time away. Though I admired the icy countryside this week on my way to work, I can relate to others who start to feel ready for spring when this time of year feels as though it’s maybe dragging on a bit.
So I had a little sojourn to Chicago to visit a friend, and this proved a much-needed diversion from my life here in Ontario. Many Chicagoans remarked on the less than ideal time of year that I’d chosen to travel. And although I could imagine the energy of the city during warmer months, I also liked exploring Chicago in the off-season. Late night jazz bars and fantastic wine and conversation during happy hour made the chilly evenings memorable and heady; while frozen toes waiting in line for zip-lining in Millenium Park, spending hours at the Art Institute, record hunting, and spending a day at the University of Chicago for a law conference made my days interesting and engaging.
There are places I’ve visited where I’ve felt that I was heading home in one sense or another. I experienced that when travelling to Germany, and even more so on later trips once I’d developed friendships. But I think there are places in the world that speak more to each of us in different ways and for different reasons. We could discuss those reasons. I have some ideas. But I’ll try to stay on track here…. so though I felt largely at home when I was in Germany, there was something that struck me even more strongly when I was in Chicago that I was home, where I was supposed to be.
No, the above photos are not where I imagine myself, but I did fall for the architecture, especially the lovely little turret-type rooms on the edges of buildings. There are a lot of beautiful and simple appealing brick buildings in Chicago. I took few pictures, but spent a good deal of time at a local coffee shop writing and thinking -what better way to spend a day? What better way to spend time?