Sunday, February 07, 2021

hunting beauty

I've been thinking quite a bit about my moods and what makes me happy. What saves me from the doldrums of winter and rights the ship when it seems the darkest and most treacherous.  Today, I suddenly felt like I maybe needed a  greenhouse or conservatory visit--a remedy that had worked before, perhaps in the darkest of times, but then of course, discovered, as suspected, the two options are closed completely due to covid. On Valentines Day in 1998, on a LP zoo visit with my parents, I wandered into a room filled to the ceiling with pink and red blooms and snapped picture, taken with a disposable camera, I still have tucked away somewhere. Something cleared in my head that had been underwater for a couple months.   I kept the photo as a reminder. That as dark as things were, something like beauty could somehow save me. I suddenly thought maybe I need to visit a home garden center with a nice big greenhouse for the same effect, but it seems a little ridiculous. 

So I wait. At the bus stop, even though the sidewalk is piled with snow and frozen over, the japanese magnolia I wait for every year has noticeable buds.  They appear far earlier than they should, and the wait is its own kind of agony. (and sadly one of the things I most missed seeing last year during lockdown, along with the blooming trees and lilac bushes in Grant Park. ) It'll be at least another two months, early April, before any real green rears itself up from the gray brown landscape. I think whatever happens with lockdowns and pandemics, I need to spend more time in nature.  I feel it, like a mineral deficiency, but in my spirit rather than my body. With the beaches closed, outside of seeing the lakefront passing by on the bus, I didn't even really have that. I also didn't get to spend much time out at my dad's since I didn't want to risk infecting him in the beginning and especially once i was back to working on-site.  As it was, summer slipped past so fast I barely felt it. 

There are of course, other places for beauty.  As of this week, the museums are slowly beginning to open up, but even though I could wander most wings of the Institute and the Field Museum, it still seems risky in the more congested areas and not at all necessary in any functional way.   So I wait. 

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