I reveal my Summer Chicago Adventure.
In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry (MSI), revisit The Bean, explore the Lincoln Park Zoo, see an incredible view of the entire city from the John Hancock building, visit the Buckingham Fountain at night, and (most importantly) experience the lovely band She & Him live at Millennium Park. But today, we start with two truly photogenic surprises I found on my way to MSI Museum and the powerful metaphor behind that experience.
There’s also something pretty special about this article that is not immediately apparent. This is the first article that I’m writing the majority of with OS X Mountain Lion’s dictation feature. The only downside of this is that I have to double tap the command key every couple sentences to continue speaking, but it’s not actually a big deal because I take a moment to consider what I’m going to say next anyway.
It’s pretty amazing, really. It’s accuracy is easily over 95% which is impressive considering you don’t have to train it to your voice. Who knows, with this technology perhaps I’ll start publishing even more than roughly 4000 words per month I now write for this site. (Actually, I’d love to know if you can tell any difference in my writing style based on this change. Feel free to let me know in the comments.)
Okay, enough about that. Let’s get on with the story.
Another Action–filled Adventure
It had been fully seven months since I’d been in Chicago. (The last time I had been on the way back from a massive West Coast adventure.) And now, finding myself back, I was reminded at how lovely Chicago is in the summer. My first destination was the Museum of Science & Industry, which I soon learned was basically on the opposite end of the city from where I was staying on the north side. So getting there by public transportation from the north side was going to take about an hour.
Not that I’d have it any other way though. Not only is driving in Chicago frustrating, I’ve been making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of CO2 and carbon monoxide that I put into the air, using a bike or public transit whenever possible. I do this partly to set an example and partly because I know that every little bit counts. And I found Google Maps on my iPod to be especially indispensable in knowing which train and bus to take this time around. (Thanks Google!)
On my way to the L-train station, I was shocked to find some beautiful periwinkle and pink flowers along the sidewalk. Even though I wanted to squeeze in as many hours in the museum as possible, I just had to stop and photograph these gorgeous blooms. (Pictured below.)
And when I reached the downtown loop I was surprised to see an old Chicago landmark being cleaned. The Old Colony Building, a beautiful 17-story building that was the tallest building in Chicago when it was built in 1893, was being power washed just below me when I looked down from one of the L train stations.
We Bloom Gradually
Even though this may sound strange, I’ll say it anyway. The more I travel, the more I get the sense that the universe itself has some kind of safety net under me. (I’ve certainly had my butt saved more than once.) But it goes beyond that. Sometimes I even feel guided to make a certain turn or slow down, sometimes discovering a story where I expected nothing, and the journey itself goes even better than I anticipated.
There’s this idea I’ve been turning over in my mind lately. The idea that nothing is permanent. That when we gain higher perspective, our level of worry goes down dramatically because we realize that everything truly is temporary. All pain, all confusion, but also all that we see. I realize that this idea is thousands of years old, but lately I’ve been finding more and more connections between this idea and the idea of travel. If we believe, if we realize, that life itself is nudging us in the direction to promote our growth and our unfolding, we can follow those intuitional nudges with more confidence, resulting in some incredible experiences.
And my experience at the museum was nothing less.
More on that, and much more, coming up soon.
Truly, we bloom gradually as we mature, but that blooming is more beautiful than a thousand desert roses.