Via Basel: Five Years


Five Years

I see him clearly
Standing out there on my balcony
On one of his frequent visits to Chicago
Looking out on Millennium Park
Taking it all in, on a warm sunny summer day.

A faint smile, with a touch of sadness
Lurking in the background
As if hiding a deep mysterious secret.
I remember the Shedd Aquarium that day
With him and Mandy, the three of us, what a joy.

Fascinated by exotic fish in large tanks,
Furiously taking pictures with his new camera,
Beluga whales performing acts of jumps and tricks,
So attentive, so absorbed in the moment
As if he belonged to another species.

Walking back along the lake front
Sandwiched between the deep blue waters
And the manicured green parks
All the while glancing in awe
At the sprawling Chicago skyline—

Rising up along it,
Magnificent specimens of modern architecture—
A sight to behold, he loved it all
But then, like a hermit
He retreated
Back to Normal

The quietness, the solitude,
His favorite library at Wesleyan,
The cornfields that stretch from his front yard
For miles and miles. A few close friends,
Time to read, write, and meditate.

Yes, it has been five years
But it feels like yesterday.

Basel and Chris at Shedd AquariumBasel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Chris Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family.

A Tribute to Chris

The Month of July

In Memory of Chris

Writing to My Son


  • Joe

    Beautifully written! We will reflect on your memories.