In Chicago, early summer is breezy like coastal LA. The differences are many, but that breeze, it rolls is and ripples the leaves that’ve finally sprouted from branches. In Michigan, I remember watching storms roll in from my apartment, one of the tallest buildings in the city of Lansing. The breeze in Chicago is like that, where it’s inevitable and headed towards you. Michigan storms can be strong ones, and since moving back, I’ve been reminded that those storms that I experienced in MI were felt a few hours after they were felt in Chicago. . . but this Chicago breeze is just enough to lift a light shirt off of your skin or cool the sweat falling down the side of your neck. When it blows through the screen door, I often walk right up to that perforated barrier and shut my eyes. I can smell and almost taste the dusty metal of the screen. The wind blows in at a constant and I can only hope that skydiving comes with a peace like that, if only for just a moment before you remember you’re careening to Earth with nothing but woven materials to slow you down.
I don’t mind the clichéd correlation between Chicago and wind. Feel free to bring it up whether you know what that term ”Windy City” truly means or not. It’s a wonderful attribute of our weather here. When it tumbles through the quiet downtown streets at 2:30AM and when it comes off the Lake’s coast and makes it all the way to the lush suburbs, it lifts everyone’s spirits. I’ve always noticed that. People are markedly happier here during the summer, probably due to the fact that we’ve had to run through a warmth-and-insulation checklist 4 feet from the doorway before walking outside into winter’s clutches. It’s difficult to be productive in those times, too. I believe that to be productive, you’ve kinda gotta be uncomfortable and wanting to keep moving…which, with that perspective, makes a Chicago winter a prime time to get things going. But they only go so far when ice starts to collect on the gears. That breeze, that’s the catalyst, that’s what gets people going around here. It reminds us that we do live in a pretty fantastic place, that it’s time to be comfortable and graze thighs with hands and go for a few more miles and shut the AC off and keep the windows down. . . and to some that readily recollect how fucking harsh some winters can be, it reminds us that we only have a few moments before that breeze is exponentially colder.
If only it was summer for forever. . .