We left Chicago yesterday after a four day visit. It was our first trip back since we sold our house in July.
We saw friends, went shopping and felt as comfortable and as warm as if we had returned to the womb.
In many ways we had. Chicago is where we met, fell in love, built a business, adopted five dogs, and sucked the marrow out of a temporary retirement. It has been safety and security for as long as we can remember.
It is a beautiful city. The most beautiful in the world to my eyes. And in many ways we found it better than when we left. We had dinner in the new Trump Hotel, which might be the most magical setting in Chicago. We drove the newly resurfaced Lakeshore Drive, marveled at the new wing of the Art Institute, and walked the Christmas lights of Michigan Avenue. Yesterday morning we woke to a perfect snowfall. Light enough to offer no impediment. Dense enough to paint everything perfectly, gently white.
It felt like a personal acknowledgement that we were in town.
And yet, yesterday evening as we boarded the plane to Los Angeles I was certain of two things.
Chicago is not our home. That, and our lives lie in New York. A decision that was hard to come by but which has become more obviously right as the year has gone by.
And we will be back.
We have not done everything right over the last couple of years. But we end 2009 where we should be.
And, at least for now, exactly where we want to be.