When we were in Chicago recently, celebrating our grandson Peter's 8th birthday, a family tradition beginning when his mother turned 8, we stayed at the University Club of Chicago.
We quickly learned this spot located just off Michigan Avenue by the Art Institute of Chicago, was much more than a place to sleep. Along with meeting spaces, restaurants, and a good work-out area, which these days is normal for most hotels, we discovered a gorgeous, old world kind of library.
Leather chairs and ottomans. Desks with views of Lake Michigan. Long tables with every imaginable periodical and newspaper. Fireplace and thick cozy area rugs begging for bare feet. And 6,000 books!
As much as I loved our daily excursions to the Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum of Natural History, I was eager to play the part of a university don, preferably one at Cambridge or Oxford, and spend an evening with a good book and a glass of sherry. No sherry to be found, but much to my delight one of the staff offered me and other guests cookies of the English biscuit variety. Heaven!
Some people fantasize about leaving every care and woe behind and living on a private beach. Paradise for others might be an island hopping cruise that doesn't end. Or maybe a villa in Tuscany (That wouldn't be bad!) or an atelier in Paris (Another great option.) A writing retreat at the University Club of Chicago, however, meets my daydreaming requirements.
Our daydreams can lead to valuable insights. Ask yourself:
What does your imaginary life reveal about what is
important to you?
What is it you are meant to be doing right now in your life?
How do your daydreams reveal who you were created to be?
I loved spending a brief time in this library, an unexpected treat in a trip that was already a special time and maybe some day I will return there, but what it actually revealed and reinforced for me is my ongoing commitment to my spiritual memoir project.
I recently started working on the third part of my book and in doing so I reread a notebook written ten years ago when I first started envisioning this project. I didn't know it was a spiritual memoir then--that has evolved--but some of the core pieces for the book can be found in that notebook. I have started and restarted, stopped and set the intentions aside for big chunks of time, but I seem to be on a roll right now. I am perfectly content to write in my pleasant garret with my own personal library surrounding me, for I know I am moving forward towards making my daydreams a reality.
I admit, however, sometimes I pretend I can see Lake Michigan from my window.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the
strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.
What is it you have yearned to do? If not now, when? I would love to know. Let your daydreams be your guide.