Indoor Oasis

Whoosh — the first automatic door opens.

Aaah – the second closes behind me.

Still, warm air bathes skin chilled after walking only a dozen yards after exchaning my warm car cocoon for the constant prairie wind. It’s a stern reminder that my travel was as much north as east across Illinois.

Atrium. Lobby. Gathering place. Oasis. Yes, defined as a quiet peaceful place in the midst of turbulent surroundings. The large sunken room before me personifies all of this.

A fountain near the center splashes a soothing welcome. Hotel guests work on computers, snack, or chat at the surrounding tables. More distant from the bubbling water upholstered chairs and loveseats encourage conversation between old friends or new acquaintances.

Are you here for the conference?      Where are you from?    What do you write?

The last question is tossed back and forth as the romance writers gather. We’ve come to learn, teach, mingle or network.

Day and night the indoor oasis offers the pause, the meeting place, the respite brains assaulted with new knowledge, sights, and people seek.