Monday, April 12, 2010

A Change in Plans

With half-opened eyes, I woke up and saw the cats pressed up against the window. Poised on the narrow sill by adroitly placing their no longer svelte pelvises perpendicular to the panes, they robustly flicked their tails. I got up, peered through the blinds, and saw a skinny sparrow directly on the other side, two sheets of glass away. Each of his chirps was met with answers inside: more tail flicking and frustrated darting from sill to sill by the cats. This roundelay finally ended when the sparrow hopped onto a nearby branch where he continued his melodic taunts. The cats, now fed up, jumped down in unison and turned to me, mewing for their breakfast.

The day was a gorgeous one, sunny and warm by the time I got out for my morning walk. Heaps of broken-up seashells crunched underfoot as I walked at the water's edge. There were pebbles, smooth and striped with a soft pink, on sand recently washed over with waves. The warmth of the sun, the gentle slapping of water at my feet, seemed far removed from the stream of Saturday traffic just up the hill. Soon, it was time for me to head back home for the short drive to Chicago where we planned to catch the Matisse exhibit at the Art Institute.

However, when my companions and I arrived at the museum, it was near closing time. Along the way, we had dawdled, stopping for chai at a cafe, for bagels, cream cheese, and challah at a deli - where curiously enough, French-styled macarons were sold. (Of course, I snapped up a bag of these rather unorthodox macarons, made with jelly fillings instead of buttercream).

Foiled in our attempt to see the art exhibit, we trudged across the street to Millenium Park. With a paper cup of jasmine tea in one hand and the bag of the few remaining macarons in the other, I soon got over my disappointment.

We settled on a park bench and idled away the afternoon. We saw madcap children dashing round and round the Crown Fountain, pushing an empty stroller. Older girls twirled their jump ropes and skillfully did the double dutch. We watched loamy clouds darkened as they settled in between high-rises, creeping behind trees.

The hours passed effortlessly, carried along by the warmth of the tea, the airy macarons, and the company at my side. The museum across the street can surely wait another day.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

What a lovely day spent with a friend. Tea, macarons, and friendship is very special.