#148: Equinoxen

April 8th, 2013

A little girl screams in joy as she goes over the grassy area in a little pink child’s scooter designed to look like a Vespa.

She sees me walking up the path and stops.

“Go ahead,” I say.

She shakes her head no.

I say, “OK, thank you,” and walk down the path.

I hear her say, “You’re welcome” as I walk past.

Spring is coming to Humboldt Park.

You can hear the salsa music mixing with the jingles of the ice cream truck. Helado, I guess. A couple snuggles under a tree. Teams of young men take to the field area to play soccer.

Children run headlong toward the lagoon to stand by the water and play with their dogs.

Spring is coming to Humboldt Park.

Calendar-wise it’s here, but the temperature is about 40, the trees are gray and dead. Nothing but the bright, sunny sky even hints that it’s anything other than December. But it’s not. It’s April.

Spring is coming to Humboldt Park.

A man fishes standing alone on a rocky outcrop. You can hear seagulls. A referee’s whistle blows from somewhere, emceeing some sporting event you know not what. Probably soccer.

It whistles again.

Spring is coming to Humboldt Park.

Children swing at the playground across the lagoon. Cars rush by down the street that in parts is called Humboldt. A woman sits on a park bench talking to herself or more likely an earpiece for a phone. Buildings in the background. The trees are dead and gray.

There’s garbage and goose shit everywhere. The winter’s snow is receding to reveal months of dried-up dog turds.

People are forcing themselves to believe it’s spring. Must be. Can’t not. It’s cold and gray, worthless and wet.

The salsa beat and the referee’s whistle and the ice cream truck and the little ice cream cart and the children and the laughter and the swings and the birds say otherwise. The first few cruiser bikes and the gleaming, streaming salsa music from somewhere promise something else.

It’s spring in Humboldt Park.

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Jugglers take to spring too, you know

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You are currently reading #148: Equinoxen by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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