I usually refrain from posting images on my blog. Most of the time I consider photos a distraction from whatever writing accompanies it. Most of the time the actual images never seem to live up to whatever expectation I already built up in my mind from the text. (It could also be because I am a mediocre photographer. At best.) But I felt I could make an exception today.
You see, yesterday I was under serious pressure; I needed to get new running shoes. I needed to get new running shoes three weeks ago for my marathon and now I was really pushing it. So after work I tied on my sneakers and raced to the two nearest sports stores. It was going to take a small miracle for me to get to either shop in time. The first was closed when I arrived, and the second was about a mile away. I knew I could just cab it. I knew I could have run. But last night the sunset in San Francisco was stunning and I didn’t want to miss it.
Instead of taking the direct route, I found myself winding down small side streets, taking in the sight of fuchsia blossoms against white stucco walls and admiring how the light bounced off a set of freshly painted blue doors. I came across a street that reminded my of a neighborhood set in Disneyland. The small patches of grass were all neatly trimmed to the same height and the pastel houses seemed almost cartoonish against the lavender light. It was cute. But after deciding I would never want to live there, I glanced at my phone and discovered I had 10 minutes before the second shop closed.
I stopped meandering and started jogging. Once I popped onto Marina Boulevard I could see the headlands and the sun setting behind Golden Gate Bridge. The hills resembled giants sleeping under a velvet green comforter. Moments like this make me forget that I am not on vacation. Even after a year, I sometimes have to remind myself that yes, I really do live here.
Just as I stopped to admire the view, the business man walking home from work 10 paces ahead of me paused as well. He fumbled in his briefcase and pulled out his camera just as I whipped out my phone. We both snapped the same shot. This is it. I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt it was a special moment we both noticed and wanted to remember.
And like most photos I take, this doesn’t do justice to what we both saw. It doesn’t capture how at peace I felt or the faint smell of the beach hanging in the air. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the image in my phone before I ultimately delete it. But right now it makes me happy. Right now it is enough.