Seeing Chicago in a new light

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Madeline Brown

A home in Lincoln Park, taken in the early evening.

Recently, one thing has been made very clear to me: I really have been taking the little things in life for granted.

 This realization struck me on a walk through Lincoln Park with a friend. It was sunny outside, and we were chatting about how impressive the houses around us were. Right as we walked underneath a cherry blossom tree, a cool breeze came, and hundreds of little pink petals floated slowly to the ground all around us. 

I am still not quite sure what it was about those petals that really touched me. Maybe it was the sheer beauty of nature, even in the city, that made me realize how comforting it was to appreciate the little things, like a cherry blossom tree. For the rest of the walk, I snapped pictures of things that caught my eye.

These houses and tress in Lincoln Park—which have been there the entire time I’ve lived there—resonated so much more because of sunlight. 

Sunlight has a way of casting life and beauty on anything and everything. I suppose I tend to forget this during Chicago’s cold, dead winters. 

Don’t get me wrong, the snow and the Christmas lights bring a charm to the city that I love, even when it is so cold and windy that to step outside is to cry. But when the sunlight comes, it illuminates the city in a way that leaves me speechless.

 Almost the entirety of our walk,  my friend and I could not stop talking about the way the sun and nature worked hand in hand with the architecture of Lincoln Park to make us feel like we had stepped into another world. A world that was too beautiful to be Chicago, or even the Earth. Of course, repeating that here now sounds ridiculous, but really, I think the sunlight just highlights the inherent beauty already present in all the little things we tend to look over.