April 17 last year was beautiful and 80 degrees—the first day of summer, really, to these first days of spring we're finally seeing.
Still unemployed, I briefly shelved applications and let myself enjoy the day outside: reading on our deck in rare city silence, eating my first Italian ice of the season, admiring my neighbor's magnolia. I probably bought fresh flowers at the market; I definitely drank an iced latte from my favorite shop.
I generally avoid comparing Bucktown to my new neighborhood. I try not to hold my new apartment or my new coffee shop up to what I used to have. It's not productive thought, and given my headspace today, my life now and my life a year ago are apples to oranges.
Still, on days like today, when the weather is beautiful and I'm craving an Ipsento latte and wondering whether my old neighbor's magnolia weathered our April cold snap (please report back), it's hard not to miss it.
As I cooked dinner tonight, one of the best sounds in the world floated through my window: a child's unbridled laughter. Then another. I looked outside, and across the way, siblings were playing whiffle ball in the backyard of their apartment building. A few minutes later, someone began practicing the flute near an open window of their own.
We didn't get a lot of instruments or children's laughter in our corner of Bucktown, I guess. Those sounds filled my heart to the brim and comforted me in ways I didn't know that something so unfamiliar could.
It's not what I thought I wanted today, but it's exactly what I needed.