This morning, as I took the first sips of a freshly brewed cup of tea and looked out the bay windows of my new apartment, I noticed that the entire street was empty of parked cars, except for mine, and a cop was standing at my windshield slapping on a $70 ticket.
I dropped everything, including the tea (which I have to clean up later), sprinted outside in barely any clothes and my car keys in my fist, and argued with the cop who wasn’t feeling any sympathy and wandered away, and another chunk of my travel savings was drained away thanks to city parking. But since I already had my keys, and was halfway dressed, I figured I may as well go for a small drive to occupy the next two hours until street cleaning was over.
And that’s when I discovered this place. Lands End.
Every week for the next however-many-years-or-months that I’ll be living in San Francisco, I’ll have to get up at 7 AM every Wednesday — which is my day off — to move my car somewhere for 3 hours. But what about using this time to explore? What about this: getting up every Wednesday early enough to drive to Lands End to see the sunrise (hell, it’s only an 8 minute drive from my front door). What about grabbing a $2 sloppy toasted bagel and sloshing, scalding coffee from the corner bakery, and driving through the pre-dawn mist and quiet to park somewhere along the San Francisco cliffs, to sit by the wildflowers and the redwoods and to listen to the rumble of the Pacific as the sky gives way to streaks of color and rich, golden light. Or even going across the Golden Gate to see the first sunlight reflect off the placid bay from the docks of the quiet fishing towns of Marin County’s pine-tree laden shores. Why not start adding up the good things? Why not make it a point to see a sunrise, every Wednesday, from here on out? Don’t I owe at least that to myself?
San Francisco is a sacred place to me. I forget that often, because I get wrapped up in the commute and the tedious work and the hardships that distract me and pull me away from what I’ve been trying to do since moving out here (which is, simply, to make a home for myself). San Francisco was sacred enough to me that I wrung myself out of everything I could have possibly given up just so that I could end up here. And today, as I walked around the flowers and paths of Lands End, I realized that I hadn’t been to that part of the city since last August, when I had visited San Francisco for the first time and had made the concrete decision that I would do any means necessary to end up out here. Today I saw the cliffside diner where we had sat 13 months ago, drinking shitty coffee and gazing down at the waves boom against the jetting rocks of Ocean Beach. I drove past the street where we had gotten a little too drunk at trivia night at a hole-in-the-wall Richmond bar and amidst the clamor and music and sloppy kisses I had thought to myself, "Here, I will fight to come here, and I will stay here awhile."
It was a bizarre feeling to be there again. It felt like I was walking straight through the ghosts of last August and what this place was to me. Little reminders tangled up in certain street corners and vistas and booths in cliffside diners. Reminders of what this place meant to me. Of why I went through what I did just so I could unpack my bags here. What, I guess, it still does.
so obsessed with this. bless your soul.