Last summer on a whim I rode my bike to the North Avenue Beach at eight in the morning. I put on my bathing suit and fitted a helmet over my matted bed hair. Getting there wasn’t hard–it was a straight shot down one street from where I lived. After locking up my bike, I discovered that someone had raked the sand, making the beach look clean and welcoming. Elton John’s “Honky Cat,” followed by “Hotel California” was playing on the loudspeakers as the beach employees set up their stands for the day. I went out into the water for once not worrying that my towel would get stolen and swam for a bit, just enjoying being the only person at the beach. An occasional jogger would run past, not looking at the great scenery on both sides, too focused on bringing the pain. I moved deep enough for the water to come to my neck. I turned around and looked at the Chicago skyline. It was right there. It was so beautiful and I was surprised to tear up at the sight and how it brought the moment together. I was unbelievably thankful to be there. After a few more minutes I got out and rinsed off and rode my bike back home, ready to start my day.