In one of last week’s posts, I mentioned that there had been some recent last-minute travel. Unfortunately, it was not a pleasure trip, as it was triggered by the passing of my grandmother. Still attempting to sort out and handle my emotions, I am not yet able to appropriately share what a wonderful, amazing, loving woman has left this world. However, during my brief time in Illinois, I attempted to capture some of the place where my grandmother spent nearly her entire life.
Springfield is the capitol of Illinois, and an ample city. The “Land of Lincoln” boasts the Lincoln Presidential Library, Lincoln Presidential Museum, the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned and the Lincoln Family Tomb. There are beautiful Lincoln-era historic buildings in downtown Springfield, as well as the Dana-Thomas House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902. However, to me, Springfield is farm country. My version of Springfield is endless fields of corn with a little city in the middle. Farmers, hearty meals, crickets as loud as trains, fishing… an idealized, slow-moving, hard-working midwestern scene.
There are other crops, of course. Soybeans, for instance.
We drove out to Loami and Chatham. On the way to Chatham we drove over/past Lake Springfield. As we wound our way towards the water, we came across a single deer, crossing the road. And then, as it trotted towards the shelter of trees, several more deer.
Leaving our dear deer friends in peace, we visited a southern finger of the lake.
We then headed north, to Bridgewater Park, and suddenly I was recalling fishing trips with my grandfather, and wondering whether I might be visiting the very same spot.
It seems strange to think that Springfield, Illinois, is no longer a place I will visit regularly. And perhaps that I may never visit, again. A therapist might theorize that attempting to define and understand my feelings about Springfield is a way of slowly broaching my feelings regarding my grandmother’s passing. But I’m not a professional, and I’m not prepared to consider the bigger picture.
In the meantime, I’ll just think about what a beautiful place I was able to spend some of my life, and hope these images do it some small semblance of justice.