"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Saturday, February 20, 2016

beautiful day

"The heart is in bloom. Shoots up through stony ground...
It's a beautiful day. Don't let it get away." - U2

The Midwest has been in the full grip of winter. 20 degrees, a chill that rattles through to the very bone, gray cloud filled skies - for weeks. But today nature gave us a reprieve - 62 degrees, brilliant warm sunshine, billowing clouds softly floating across the sky. I was eager to get...out.

"Can we just go already?!" - Coco

Every morning Coco lays on a chair in my kitchen - next to the coffee maker, patiently waiting for my coffee to finish brewing so we can either cuddle a bit before I leave for class or go to my atelier where she curls on my lap while I work. But not today. Today Coco sat straight up, wiggled her booty and thumped her tail so hard I thought she was going to fall off. She knew. Somehow she knew that, even though it was 25 degrees the night before - today it was warm, the sun was shining, I wasn't going to work and leaving her behind, we weren't going to be spending the day in my atelier, and she couldn't wait for us to get on with it already.

"Go outside. Don't tell anyone and don't bring your phone."
- Charlotte Eriksson

I grabbed Coco and my camera, put my top down and we hit the road. My plan was to capture this beautiful day, really. But as I drove further and further west, into horse and farm country, slowly cruising down a completely deserted tree-lined country lane, the shining sun was so brilliant on my face, my body. I was moving through stillness and there were so many gorgeous images: A horse slowly walking through a field; long dead brown crumbly leaves, that had somehow survived the winter, swirling around, up and over my car; the soft balmy wind blowing my hair every which way. I just took it all in, reveled in each sensation, at some point I realized that some moments aren't meant to be captured.

A hot simple meal, a good book, Coco curled on my lap

Our final destination was my favorite little town, on the banks of the Fox River. I parked, took Coco on a very long walk, then lunch at our favorite cafe. Coco is such a well-mannered lady, the owner kindly allows me to bring her inside. I spent a few hours at table in the corner, with a good book, discreetly feeding my girl tidbits (that bit of pink on my lap is not a napkin - it's Coco ;-} Then another long walk, this time in town. Up and down streets lined with homes built during the Civil War and not long after. There's even a gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright house! I left my camera in the car - more than content to file away the day's images to precious memory. It felt like Paris and I have not felt Paris in so long. It was a beautiful day...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


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