The plans were hatched during the winter break. Summer 2020 was going to be the best summer ever. Two young women halfway through college were going to spend the summer in Chicago living on their own. The apartment belonged to one; her roommate would be moving out at the end of the semester. It was located just a few short blocks from Lake Michigan and about a mile and a half from the beach!
My mother always said the three ingredients that made a successful summer were 1. read a good book, 2. take a long walk, and 3. make a new friend. So, since I was very small, those were my summer goals. Now every summer about this time, I like to check in with Mom to see how I’m doing.
If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, you can find me in the garden. Next to running, gardening is one of my most cherished activities. When I hurt my back in 2011, friends asked if it was a running injury. “No, a gardening injury,” I’d reply.
When I moved into my house almost 10 years ago I had a vision for an enormous – meditative – wild flower garden, a big private green lawn where my daughter and dog could play, a patio with a fire pit that could host gatherings of friends or be a quiet retreat. As purchased, the house had none of that.
But as I said, I had a vision; which I turned into a plan (more on the importance of having a plan in July). That project became an escape, like my running, from all the stress life was throwing at me for all those years. Like an artist whose craft becomes the outlet for their pain, I created a masterpiece amid the turmoil.