home towns at nautilus teachings

in order to connect
with our inner self
we need to go back
to not just our family
but our surroundings
the town we
were raised up in,
mine was Elgin, Il…
Elgin national watch company
Opened late 19th century
Closed mid 20th century
Torn down 1965
Largest producer of watches in the USA
Elgin clocks still hang at union station chicago
Sears Catalogue Homes built here 1908-1940
Gail Borden est. Condensed milk here 1900’s
Earned fame for butter and dairy
And sold all over Chicago
Chicago Union RailRoad built upon the banks of the Fox River
Connecting Elgin with Chicago and other major cities
Victorian Era- Queen Anne Style Homes-built late 1900”s
Around Lords Park
1898 George and Mary Carpenter Lord
Present to the city of Elgin 108 Acres
With the agreement it will remain a park forever
Fox river
Busiest waterway in the midwest starting
In mid 1800’s
What does all this mean to me?
Lords park
Green, lush hills
With wildflowers that
Tasted like honey…
An upper and lower lagoon
To catch ugly catfish out of in summer
And ice skate upon in the winter…
Elgin Zoo
With roaming animals that smelled like
Fresh straw and burning leaves
Still alive and now has a FB page!
Elgin Museum opened in 1920
I can still see the cobwebs
And smell the old books
And so can my grandson!
Elgin pool
Where I became a mermaid
Or sea turtle or
Colorful fish
Now has water slides,
An aquatic center
And lap lanes
Some even indoor-
Lords Park Pavilion
I would run up and down the steps
Watch weddings
Go to parties here
Of being a princess…
And still
Bringing smiles to thousands each year

Yet, what does it all mean?
It was the greatest place to be a kid
I could run free
I could hide
I could sing
My childhood palette began here
My polly pocket dolls would get married
Under the lily of the valley flowers
I would talk to mr. Caterpillar
As he crawled up the gnarly oak trees
I would gaze at the swans
Hoping one day, I too would be beautiful
I would watch the waterfall
As it changed from crystal to aqua to golden brown
I would ride my bike around the lagoons
As fast as I could hoping I would become invisible
I would lie in the summer grasses and eat
The honey tasting wild flowers
I would slide down the frozen hills in winter
And zip across the frozen lagoon on my saucer
Or ice skate to the center of the hard water
And perch upon the island eating the fresh snow
I can gaze up to the sky at this very moment
And I am there-
Huge cool snowflakes landing upon my lashes
Catching them on my tongue,
Running through the crunchy
Mandarine orange, bright yellow and umber brown leaves,
I smell the lavender lilacs as the warm summer breezes blow As they are dancing a ballet just for me
Wash over me and craddle me in my mother’s arms…
And what does it mean today?
I visit every chance I get
I watch the baby raccoons cling to their mamas,
I giggle at the russet colored squirrels gathering their nuts for the long winter ahead
I listen to the voices of children who stroll the sidewalks now and hear their dreams
I can gaze through the pavilion windows and
See the beautiful fancy balls
And smell the home cooked pies and cakes
I sit on the front porch of my child hood home
And remember front porch swinging with my mom
And laughing so hard my belly hurt
I see my best friend Brigid and I playing
Games on the front porch
Or Jodi and I running from the cold summer water sprinklers and baking our shivering bodies on the
Steaming hot cement
I can feel the warmth
The burn of child hood memories
The cloud that hovers over it all stays at bay
Because there was just too much goodness
711 linden avenue, elgin illinois
My address

The grey, white shuttered Queen Anne two story
Where my innocence was lost
My dreams shattered
My soul crush
My under the sea world began
The greasy charcoal black basement
Filled with cob webs and dead bugs
With its dusty walls and my mom’s
Bright burnt orange washer and dryer
With sunbeam yellow rugs in front of it
The place where I was locked in by my brothers
And left alone into the darkest hours of the night
Where somehow I would find clear vision
And start to mosaic images out of all the broken
Pieces laying upon the dingy floor
The tiny one windowed bathroom with the huge white tub
Where my mother would give me Mr. Bubble bubble baths
And bring me warm chocolate chip cookies and cool ice cream as a treat for being filthied by my brothers the two toe headed demons
Images of today reflect yesterdays truths
The truth is
I loved my childhood
Even given all the abuse
There was always a bright color to fall into
A soft light to warm me
A fresh smell to feed my soul
And a melody of life
I could take flight upon
I could escape the madness
I created a world that was whimsical
With round curves
Tons of belly giggles
And sails full of gentle winds
To carry me to new home ports
As I walk my life’s path today
I still tumble down those red wooden steps
Into the abyss of my childhood
I still ache with pains that remain unhealed
I have wounds which ooze less frequently
And the stench which I carry within
Is at times again the fragrant breeze
Of my youth
I am my own headline
I am a walking, brilliant billboard
Filled with passionate writings
I am a midwestern girl
Who was quietly saved by the
Atlantic ocean,
The healing blue waters,
Wise old mr. Hawksbill,
Fancy finns
And the multi-hued fish friends
Who all encompass my youth
This art filled soul
Who was taught
Cornered silence
By her father
Ugliness by her brothers
And great love
By her mother
Today stands before you and proudly says,
“Lords Park is my home
It is my center
It is my soul
It was a gift from God
That I should be rescued
By the amazing world
Which surrounded my home.”
And that my life
is something
no one can ever,
ever take from me…
My palette
My world
My words
My breath