Thursday, December 08, 2016

Rain in Chicago

My husband would call it a filled in day. There are a lot of them in Caithness. In Caithness, it might or might not rain; in Chicago I can be sure that some time during the day it will rain. By the time I cross the threshold, there is a mizzle--I don't remember the American word for it. Perhaps there isn't one. One breath of the air tells me that there will be thunder.  The low air pressure tells me to be alert to possible severe thunderstorms or 'conditions likely to create tornadoes.' It's not tornado season, but none of the seasons are the same. I have taken all this in while walking the half dozen steps to the sidewalk. Taking it in as naturally as slipping back into a familiar pair of jeans.

I have always loved walking in cities, and Chicago, this neighbourhood where my daughter has lived for several years now becomes familiar quickly within a few days of my return.  Not quite a fortnight and I have come to cherish the walks to the collection of shops called Lincoln Square with their fountains and buskers and mix of ethnic layers. By the time I get to my newly adopted favourite cafe, I am very wet. My waterproof shoes and quick dry jacket have done their job, but they are ready for a dry out. I'm ready for a real bagel--not packaged things available in the stores in Caithness--a baked today one, not as good as watching it being baked and eating it still warm, but baked today will do. I settle in with today's New York Times while nearly everyone else stares at a computer screen.

By the time I've done the puzzle and finished my coffee, the rain has stopped. I head back to my daughter's.

When as in silk my Julia goes
how sweetly flows
the liquefaction
of her clothes.

This bit of verse rattles in my brain as if the shoop shoop of my jacket is as comely as sweet Julia. On a rainy day in Chicago it surely is.


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