Wednesday, January 28, 2009
What we do in Chicago, in the dark bottom of winter when the snow has been coming for two months solid and the temperature barely nudges 20 degrees, what we do is tell ourselves that the long cold season just makes spring, when it finally comes, all the more glorious.
So when I woke this morning and found three inches of fresh white powder on the ground, making everything clean again, I only grumbled a little before grabbing the shovel and heading out for the ritual of clearing the sidewalk, edge to edge, as is the custom on the block where I've lived almost all my life in Rogers Park.
And I enjoyed it even more this time because one of my neighbors was down the block behind a snowblower, moving fast, back and forth, clearing not one or two lots for easy passage by the pedestrians, but six houses worth, and then moving to the other side of the street. He is just one of the good samaritans who go well beyond the minimum, whether it's clearing snow, picking up garbage, planting flowers or keeping an eye on things that don't look right. It's a good community of neighbors, and thus a good street to live on.
Now about that glorious spring. While we're getting impatient, the urban farmers at Growing Home have already ordered their seeds for spring and are expanding their Wood Street Farm in Englewood. If you want to pitch in, you can contribute to the $1,315 tab for their vegetable seeds. Of if you just want to learn more about how the nonprofit combines ecology and community development, check out this video. Spring will come. It always does.