Thursday, March 18, 2010


I have fallen head over heels, totally completely, sparkly eyed in love with this city. When I moved here in January it was just a tiny infatuation, like the one with the man with dancing eyes that you see behind the counter at B and P's. Recognition, a smile that reaches through the eyes, and causes you to pause and catch your breath for just a moment at the possibilities. You look forward to the daily intersection of your worlds, but accept the briefness of its passing with grace. What I feel now that spring is here is indefinitely more complex, deeper, messier, complicated, and oh so refreshing.

Beauty resides here, tucked amongst the tall Victorians, sturdy Italian villas, and run-down mansions, reminiscent of houses painted by your imagination from the pages of a Nancy Drew novel, the old hardback green editions with the illustrations on the front that cause a longing for strawberry-blonde hair and a predilection for fighting crime. It isn't a hidden beauty but rather an overlooked one. Hopelessness has clouded over it for many years and tried to blot out the bits of light pinpricking the darkness.

Hope has returned. It is here to stay. It's the twisted loveliness of the leafless branches reaching towards God right next to the clean creaminess of the First Congregational Church, which isn't actually the FIRST since the original burnt down. The sculpture of the iron birds taking flight off the pedestal tucked away next to a non-descript house on Harrison beckon, "There is truth here. Life."

The pale spring sunset fading over the eaves of an rather ungracefully aging grey shingled house, the window propped open brings surprise delight to passer-by (namely me) as the thick juicy sounds of jazz, a well-played saxophone pours out. I want to stand on that corner and listen for hours. To sit down, cross-legged in the middle of the cracked sidewalk that leads directly to Beloit College and drink it in. It feeds my soul as I press pause on the iPod and bounce. Left foot , right foot. Waiting for the cars to pass, so I can cross the street. I want to press pause on this moment. I want the rest of the world, the people in their cars, the ones with the sad-eyes, the broken, the restless, the bored, the just plain tired to experience this moment. To feel what I feel.

Welcome to Beloit. God lives here. So do I.

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