The courtyard garden was calm amid strong north wind gusts, sheltered enough for deep contemplation. But instead I planned ahead for moving away from Milwaukee's east side at the end of October.
This neighborhood has been home for years and years, but I'm ready to adventure on.
In truth, I am past ready, because the friendliness of this familiar place has been diminishing rapidly lately. Sirens disturb the peace more and more often -- along with shouts, fights and litter, perhaps one disturbance per hour on the average.
Sirens sound, then fire department or police respond -- but usually no one is removed from the situation, so it flares up again in minutes to hours. Maybe crime rates are declining simply because of fewer arrests and citations; perhaps a decriminalization trend is improving police department performance on paper, without making the neighborhood safer.
But the sun is beaming over all of it, beautiful or messed-up, no matter what.
Already I have packed over half my stuff -- enthused. So I walk around the block and into the wind to watch trees that appear to be dancing.
This ginkgo tree's leaves remain green long after the maples, ash and chestnut trees begin to turn autumn colors.