At 10 o'clock I dragged myself up again off the sofa where I'd been dozing, and pulled on socks and muk-luks and a fleece and a big ol' blanket and Martin and I went out to lie on the trampoline in the hopes of seeing shooting stars. Alas! Cloud cover was busily rolling in and puffing itself into place. As we laid there, cozy and warm in the cool night air, the few stars we could see winked out one by one. We gave up after 10 minutes. Maybe tomorrow will be better!
On the way home from work, zooming down E22 in fairly light traffic despite the fact that it was 1) "rush hour" and 2) mostly back up to regular traffic conditions since most everyone is back from vacation now, I thought about the fact that for the 10 years I lived in Chicago traffic and traffic jams and traffic stops and hours and hours and hours of sitting and crawling on the highway was just a fact of life in the big city. When we lived down by the lake in Lakeview, Anders routinely had a 2-hour commute to work in the suburbs. I at least could take the El so my commute was about 20 minutes, but driving anywhere in Chicago is an exercise in patience.
Granted I don't live in a "big city" even if Malmö IS the 3rd largest one in Sweden, but traffic congestion is so rarely on the radar of my life these days that it was a weird feeling to remember how much we once took it for granted. My commute now is 10 minutes and there is almost never even a slow-down.
Now, I miss Chicago a lot. I loved living there, loved living in the pulse and energy of the big city, loved my neighborhood and my job and my apartment(s). But there are a few things that I confess to not missing at all about Chicago and traffic is the first of them. The second of them doesn't have so much to do with Chicago per se, but it was a daily part of my life there: pantyhose. I NEVER have to pull on that soul-strangling woman-hating garment here. Never! How liberating! And the third thing? The perpetual serenade of sirens, horns and alarms. Surrounded by the constant thrum of a city of millions, there was ALWAYS an ambulance or a car alarm or someone honking: CONSTANTLY. After awhile you learned how to tune it out and by the end of my 10 years there it was actually a jolt to wake to birdsong in the early Flyinge mornings instead.
Tonight, lying on the trampoline, we could hear cricket song all about us. A moth blundered past my head and stray breezes ruffled the long grasses in the overgrown pasture behind us. We could hear a couple of TVs murmuring, one from our house and one from the neighbor's. A dog barked. That was it. It was so quiet and peaceful and lovely. I shall sleep well.
Good Things for Today: A gift of a box of jewel-colored macaroons in various flavors from southern France, sunshine when we expected clouds & rain, cool evening air, steak & tomato salad with feta, the good mood I've been in for days, cards in the mail, a song in my heart.
*Title from a quote by Plato