Church Mouse
A packed train resulted in witnessing some impressive social distancing. Photo by Kate Josephson

There had been a guy at the street corner with a case of water on his shoulder and an event sign in his other hand, waiting for the walk light. A couple other women on the train leaving town said they were sorry to miss it, too. 

So many bands, so much music. Churches as venues.

There was no line at check-in. But the pleasant, competent young man on the other side of the counter said –  as he handed over my two bottles of free water – I had just missed the crowd. The bar area was hopping with the clamor of people in big chairs at low tables under the high ornate ceiling.

The sidewalks had been quiet leaving the train station. Amtrak had been packed. 

There were still the nicely illuminated pretty lobbies of skyscrapers to glance into while rolling my nimble suitcase along. The sky was the same royal blue at dusk that can be stunning in Red Wing.

Before paying homage to the iconic glistening huge bean shaped sculpture, Cloud Gate, by a Great Lake, I beelined through Daytons. Overpriced souvenir lipstick seemed to be in order. If it’s the right shade for church on Easter I’m not sure, it’s called Disorderly. So maybe not. I only saw a couple other shoppers as I walked in one door and out the other.

I kinda showed my new purchase to the gal at the table as I was emptying out my coat pockets in the little white security tent. That’s new. When I first saw the low metal fencing I thought it was just to guide people away from the icy snow covered steps.

Skaters were twirling away at the ice rink. A fancy ice cream place on the corner seemed to be doing a fine business. But a favorite bakery cafe across from the Cultural Center had nothing in the windows but a few crumbs of something – maybe plaster, maybe merengue.

Other times when I’ve been in that area it’s been for free summer concerts. Glancing over at the patch of lawn where I’d sat with my nieces and their mother, I wondered if those will be happening again this year.

This weekend both nieces were in different plays – both productions had been rehearsed in church buildings. Shakespeare was spouted in one, and his life and death was the main theme in the other. 

Faith was an element in both. (I need to get a big book of Shakespeare plays to them; for years without picking it up I’d thought it was a Bible.)

I didn’t bring nice shoes. My boots were nothing like those worn in the play. Back at the hotel it had been fun to watch the variety of footwear that twirled through the revolving door, including red boots with clear high heels and shiny white fashion boots.

I‘d lucked into a corner room with a view. I could almost see the white security tent from there, offering some evidence that the world has changed — while also in many ways staying the same.

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