And a bright sunny day in Chicago. Cold, but nothing like the -2 F we had a week ago, so we’re happy. About half a mile from my home, in between us and Lake Michigan, is a small wilderness called “Wooded Isle.” It’s a bird sanctuary, and it holds a Japanese Garden, a gift of the city of Osaka. And despite vandals and poor budgets, it continues to look lovely at all seasons.
This is what I look at in winter.
I go there as many mornings as I can with my dog and try to ground myself, try to let go of all the thoughts and anxieties that weigh me down (we are worrying about the health of one son, and have everyone’s usual worries about the world.)
Even though I hear the traffic on both sides of us, and even though the dog rolls in or eats obnoxious stuff, the Osaka Garden has become part of my peace-seeking ritual.
This little map shows you where the garden is, just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. Lake Michigan lies to the east; the blue around the garden is really brown, the lagoons from the lake that dot the south side’s lakefront. I see herons there, prairie hawks, and small woodland birds.
I hope against all odds that the world itself finds more peace this year than it’s known for a while, that the United States stops its part in creating havoc and death for people far from home, that we all seek justice, in Lincoln’s words, “with a firmness in the right as Gd gives us to see the right.” May the year be one of health and peace for everyone who reads these words.