I am a Capricorn. Capricorns are an Earth sign. I need to feel grounded in the earth which I think is why I love my plants and gardening so much. I also think that is why I like running. My feet hitting the pavement with each footfall is my connection to the Earth.
There are also places on the Earth that ground me. One of those places in the Chicago Lakefront Trail. During the height of my “high conflict” divorce (the PC way of saying super nasty, craptastic divorce from an abusive narcissist), I found solace and comfort in my long bike rides along the Lakefront. I would head out in the morning with my bike, some water and a book. I would ride for 10 miles, take a break to read and people watch, then ride the 10 miles back to my car. It was an escape from the pressures of life where no one could find me for a while.
Once we got Lucky, I started taking him down there to run with me. We would run 5-7 miles together along the Lake and take a rest in the shade before coming home. He was living his best life and I could take a break!
Last year, when Covid took over, our trips to the lakefront ended. We stuck close to home and found new paths around the neighborhood but it was not the same. I felt out of sorts.
Last night, as I was falling asleep, I thought about the lakefront. I thought about heading back there for a run. I planned it in my head as I drifted off. When I got up this morning, I almost talked myself out of it. I dilly dallied and found things to do rather than getting dressed and going for a run. Then I took a look outside and the sun was coming up. I could see the skyline and feel the pull of the trail. So I leashed up the dog and got in the car.
We drove down to our “spot” and parked. I tried to pay but the box was broken and the app said it was “free” today. Score! With my water bottle on my waist, I turned on my “lakefront playlist” and we headed off for our run.
I took in everything….every sight, sound and smell! I noticed all that had changed since our last visit. I took pictures both in my head and with my phone!
I am not going to lie and say that this was a perfect run….it was not. I have not run a lot since I broke my arm (nerves!) so there was some walking, some crying and some cursing….but I loved every minute of it!
The small signs along the way were not lost on me….. no traffic, making the greenlights in Irving, the open parking spot, “free” parking, the sailboat named “Namaste”, the phonecall from my kids as I ran, the homeless woman who asked me to stop so she could pet Lucky (she lost her dog “a while back” and missed him), the little girl who shouted, “Hey! I love Girls on the Run” (I was wearing my GOTR shirt….and forgot I had it on until she shouted at me!)…..the list goes on and on. I am a firm believer in signs and angels….and today they were out in full force, letting me know that this was exactly where I needed to be as well as what my heart and soul needed.
Over a year ago, I took that last run for granted and today vowed never to let that happen again. I will not take the glorious views of the city and lake for granted ever again.
Today was a reminder to trust my instincts and take chances. Today was a reminder what grounds me. Today was a reminder of how far I have come, the moments and things I cherish as well as how much I have left to accomplish in this world.
My motto is #forwardisapace and I will always move forward. I move forward with my feet firmly grounded on the Earth, my heart full of love, and my soul full of peace.


I love my plants. To say that I am a plant mom is an understatement! My kids joke that we live in a jungle! But I love each one of my plans for all sorts of reasons and they are all so very different! Plants play a large part in my life a fact that was made even more apparent this weekend.
I learned of a new plant shop that was opening and decided I needed a little self care moment on Saturday so I took a drive over there to check it out. It was just what a needed and more! I walked in and could feel the release of tension in my body. The display and plants were so gorgeous. A true urban oasis! I really was not going to buy anything and then I saw a lone hanging basket in the back. It was a plant that I didn’t have and it was love at first sight. I thought it was going to be expensive so I asked the first person I saw….turns out that was the owner. We got to chatting and all of a sudden so many of my world’s collided. I can’t count the number of “No Way!’s” that were exclaimed. It was a true ‘God-Incident’ and one that I know is not over yet.
Today on my run I stopped to take a few photos of a rose that caught my eye. As I was actually smelling the rose, a man walked around the corner from the front of the house. I stepped back and apologized ….. he was waiting for me to finish so he could now the sideyard.
“No need to apologize….,” he said. “I have more in the back that are prettier if you want to see those.”
“Really?” Now, I was not getting creeper vibes from this older man…I was getting more of a “I am proud of my roses” vibe. So I turned and said, “I would love to see them…”
Together we walked to the gate of the backyard and he opened it for me. Around the edges of the perfectly manicured yard were all different rose bushes. Each prettier than the next. Then he started telling me about each one…..Every special occasion he bought and planted a rose bush for his wife in the yard. There were so many! I stopped taking pictures and listened as he told me the story of each one. Then he told me that my stopping to take pictures was the highlight of his day.
“Since she passed, I don’t really admire the roses anymore…..I forgot how much I love them and miss her. Thanks….”
“Awww. They are all so pretty and unique…..You are so welcome….”
I said goodbye to Roy (yes, I did eventually ask his name!) and promised to stop and smell the roses each time I run past his place.
Whether it is indoor plants or outdoor gardening, getting my hands dirty and watching something grow is cathartic and healing for me. Plants ground me….no pun intended! Plants, I have realized, are a good metaphor for life. Plants are so diverse just like people. Plants need the basics to survive just like people. Plants can’t take root and grow in an unhealthy environment. Plants may grow regardless of where they are planted, however, plants thrive with attention, care, love and often, a little guidance. Sometimes plants need a little pruning or direction, just like the people in our life. A little direction and plants will always find their way. What we sometimes think of as weeds can also bring beauty…it is all in our perception. We all grow at our own pace, in our own way, eventually blooming, just like plants. The gardens I love are filled with diversity, variety and color.
Plants and flowers allow us to get a little dirty, create connection, foster growth, appreciate beauty, cultivate friendships, ground ourselves and remind us to bloom. Always remember to stop and smell the roses because, no matter what, it is worth it!