Inuksuit at South Boulevard Beach
Photo by Mary De Jong
Inuksuit at South Boulevard Beach Photo by Mary De Jong

It’s May 20, the 141st day of the year. Yesterday’s temperatures of Lake Michigan were 53 degrees the Chicago crib and 55 degrees at the Chicago shore.

In history (from onthisday.com, history.com and Wikipedia)

1609Shakespeare’s Sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by publisher Thomas Thorpe

1873, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and Reno, Nev., tailor Jacob Davis are given a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: blue jeans.

1996, The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the rights of homosexuals Romer v. Evans. By a 6-3 vote, the Court held that an amendment to the Colorado State Constitution preventing protected status based on homosexuality or bisexuality did not meet the requirements of the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“It rained and it rained and it rained” begins a chapter in “Winnie the Pooh,” a refrain that could be echoed here. After many a protracted downpour, Hawthorne Lane temporarily becomes Hawthorne Lake. The National Weather Service reports this month is on its way to being the wettest May on record in the Chicago area.

The storms throw sand onto the sidewalks and rocks onto the thinning beaches. At South Boulevard Beach, Mary De Jong discovered that folks have “transformed some of these rocks into creations: a tiny house with carport, a circle of structures that looks like a village and some inuksuit (that word is the plural of inuksuk, the piles of rocks erected by Inuit people in the Arctic).

A sign on a nearby tree – on Hinman Avenue between Keeney and Kinzie streets – invites others to add their own rocks.

Farther north, the saying “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” painted on a rock in the riprap at Clark Square has been painted over.

As Evanston and the rest of the Northeast Region continue to crawl toward Phase 3 of Governor J. B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, it could seem like awakening from a fever dream. We are all going to stretch cautiously, edge into the business of living and adjust to the still-careening “new normal.” There is really no going back to Life Before Lockdown; many things – like the tennis courts, which will open Friday – could seem at once eerily the same and strangely different.

Smile through those masks and face-coverings as you keep your distance – it’s the virus, not the people, we need to be wary of.