I do some of my best thinking on benches.

In 1993 after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer, I headed to Weldon Springs, a beautiful park near my parents’ house in Illinois, parked myself on a bench by the water, and tried to absorb the news. In the peace and quiet, I repeated the doctor’s words to myself and contemplated how my life was about to change forever.

The past couple of weeks have brought some new disruptions: my brother has returned once again to jail and my oldest, Celia, is dealing with some health challenges. This morning, I headed to a nearby trail that I frequently walk/jog and found another bench–this oneĀ surrounded by tall, leafy trees–for a brief rest and a bit of thinking.

I can’t say that once I stood up my concerns had vanished, but I do believe I captured a glimpse of serenity in a generally chaotic moment.


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