Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring flush: A tea moment

Everything's freshened after last night's rain, thunder and lightning, and the warm breezes are whispering sweet nothings of spring. Everyone's out and about — tourist boats are back on the Chicago River stuffed with gawkers, pairs of geese are strolling Wolf Point with their fluffy new babies, the urban parks are alive with natives and newcomers and newbies playing hooky. I had time to kill this evening, after bailing from work and before meeting a friend to hear Neko Case's leather-lunged voice fill every cranny of the Chicago Theater. I could've ducked inside somewhere for a cocktail, but how could I spurn such a newly comely Mother Nature? I snatched a green tea from Argo and strolled through the crowds in Millennium Park, hiking over the curvy bridge over rush-hour choked Columbus Drive to the formal landscape designs, tennis courts and plazas on the other side. This is a tea moment. Sitting in on a park bench, watching the landscape come alive for the who-knows-how-manyth time. Fragrant dogwood blossoms fluttering on the breeze. Teenage boys slapping by in flip-flops or rolling by on skateboards. Tulips humbly bowing in their beds. Tourists on Segways, craning their necks at the city skyline, the contrast of which deepens minute by minute as the sun slips away. A duck — its plump head, neck, body and tail in a perfect straight line — flies at human-head height across the park. Stop, look, listen — and sip.

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