The icy air assaulted us as we bid farewell on Michigan Ave. It was a frigid day with a -8°F wind chill factor. Not a day to be out for the faint of heart, but, we Midwesterners are not the type to swoon over snow and cold. We sally forth with our heads bent to the wind and off we go.
I decided to walk back to Northwestern Station, bidding goodbye to my friends who were heading to the Ogilvie Center for their train after an inspiring lecture, lunch, and the visual excitement that permeates the Art Institute of Chicago. I needed to walk for the exercise. I wanted to walk for a window display that caught my eye earlier.
The walk west on Adams skirts the financial district. Not necessarily an area known for holiday window displays. State Street. Michigan Ave. They are the streets where extravagant visions are a feast for the eyes come December.
Still, something caught my eye, and when a vision captures my imagination, dear reader, you may know that it captures my heart as well and I’m not usually deterred.
On the corner of what I believe is the Home Insurance Building, windows, lining south and west, held masculine forms that were clad in the most properly arrayed displays of tweed and tartan and wool. Sophisticated dioramas of the aristocratic set, with a dusting of snow and the branches of birches amid silver and leather, wicker and wood.
As the wind was having its way with me, I bent my head to thwart its assault and there, hung low along the plate panes, were the words of my most favored poem; Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost.
“Whose woods these are I think I know” were carved in the panes as if etched by a diamond on glass.
“He gives his harness bells a shake . . . ” and there, I swear, was a strop of bells.
My friend, I walked the windows, a bellman at the neighboring Marriott tipping his hat at my determination, and then, bracing against the wind coming round from the Chicago River, trudged to my train, and the miles I had yet to go before home.
Settled into my seat, warmer, I reached into my purse, and discovered my camera. I held it in my hand, just in case a picture came, and it did as the train rolled along its long track, covering the miles toward home.