Life is a blur of scampering out the door before open houses and squeezing in swing time and walks before bedtime and baths. My days in Chicago are already a distant memory of hot mid-day walks and twinkly nights upon the fringe of the merrymaking. I had one moment, during a walk with Leslie, that I stole for home.

We were in Millennium Park and she exclaimed, “Oooh, I’m putting my feet in the water!” And before I knew it she was squatting down and yanking off her shoes. I sighed, it seemed like so much work to take my tennis shoes off in the heat and then put them back on, socks sure to be damp with sweat. She let out a sigh like a dog curling up by a fire and I caved.

The water was incredible and the stones along the trough were cool and slick. I wiggled my toes and felt myself relax, my hands behind me and the sun shining upon my face. I looked at Leslie and saw a similar peace. We sat in a contemplative silence as people on either side of us began to follow suit.

Glimmers of sunlight reflecting off coins in the water caught my eye. I thought of the girls and Sean, of pennies tossed in Placid and Burlington. I felt silly and hopeful. I reached my hand in my pocket and slid a shiny dime between my fingers. I peeked at Leslie from the corner of my eye and as she leaned in looking at her own toes I dropped the dime silently into the water.

Unspoken wishes and s dreams of reaching an as yet invisible finish line.

As I remember the soft, soft splash, I feel a quiet hope.