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My Chicago Home
How can we best live as modern, active contemplatives where prairie meets city?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stargazing and Lake Walking

Chicago Skyline Panorama from Adler Planetarium by southerntabitha

southerntabitha on Flickr.
In late May, children finish their final flurry of field trips before summer, and adults long to burst bonds of office and household walls.

Stargazing and Lake Walking
By Marianna Bartholomew

Lake Michigan is today as deep-hued and inviting as the Mediterranean
The Planetarium bobs on its surface like a misplaced Pantheon

I sit like some pith-chewing philosopher in my 30th-floor office perch
my eyes turned to the shore

Today is a business day

But what means that to the resplendent turquoise waters
the reeling gulls
or to neck-craning school children gazing 
at the stars

In my thoughts, I join them
Orion, Cygnus the Swan
then half-melted Milky Ways on the lawn
with a peanut butter and jelly lunch

The wind, the nostril-pinching sniff of alewives
The crunching of city grass and candy bar wrappers underfoot
A frisbee, crack! in the back
 Photo of Chicago's Adler Planetarium courtesy of Dee W.
on Yelp

And always, the beckoning of the blue
and, if you pretend, pure
lake water
lapping like the sea

Like the Mediterranean

It's a magnet
My computer is no competition

I should be star-gazing and lake walking
on this late May day.

Okay, it originally read "late April day," but I adapted that last line for this post. I also have to chuckle at the "lake walking" bit. No, I'm not referring to walking on water, but beside it! I wrote this poem years ago as I was feeling tortured in nylons and heels, trapped in my glass office cage, overlooking an exquisitely beautiful Lake Michigan in spring. The Adler Planetarium really did look like it was "bobbing" on the waters. As I struggled to focus on my work, with an incredible, panoramic view laid out before me, I found myself with that surge of "Spring Fever" to cast it all aside and go join those field tripping kids on the Planetarium lawn. 

Anyway, milder, warmer days are bound to soon arrive, although I was wearing a winter coat last week,  temperature highs are predicted for just 56 degrees for tomorrow, and vacillating cold and warm fronts are stirring up fierce weather. 

I was finishing up this post when news came through of the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri. My heart and prayers go out to all those impacted by this horrific 2011 Tornado Season. I pray May closes out like a lamb and that no further lives might be lost to devastating storms.

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