And the Memory Will Shine

So the holidays are long gone and your Christmas tree has been kicked to the curb (if you’re in SF, perhaps it’s already been made into wood chips and returned to the earth).

And maybe your friends pack up and move to another state — a state that is supposed to be quite rainy, but the rain starts here instead and brings with it some hurricane-force winds.

This wind and weather prevent many farmers from attending the weekly farmers market that is high point in your week. You are in need of a high point right now.

And it’s a minor point, of course, but you can’t help but point out that your boots aren’t waterproof and your feet are wet.

You’re feeling a little low in these admittedly trite circumstances. You know that your troubles pale in comparison to others. Your friends and family members suffered real loss over the holidays, and you’ve lost what, exactly? A tree you’d adorned with felt eggs and bacon, Miss Piggy and Kermit, and a cat angel or two. Your friends and their train-obsessed 2-year-old aren’t gone forever, they’ve just relocated. The rain will go away. Your socks will dry. The farmers will come back to the market. And don’t forget that you have immense love in your life.

You need some perspective and it comes finally, when the sun reappears and you venture out of the City and up to Mt. Tamalpais.


Mt. Tam is usually crowded, but this time you have your choice of parking spots. The windy roads up to Mt. Tam usually make you carsick, but you feel fine this time. And although the hike seems like it will be too long, you start walking.

The trail is littered with bits of trees that the storms have blown down but you can see your way well enough. And eventually, you emerge from the forest into the sun and the view that opens up before you is startling. You can see the City — the little houses in the Sunset, Ocean Beach, the spires of Sutro Tower, and you can also see the coast of Marin — the wide, curve of Stinson Beach and the Bolinas Lagoon.

It feels like this sort of beauty should be impossible, like California is showing off.

The winter sun is almost warm on the side of the mountain. A few gorgeous kestrels stop you in your tracks. And as you walk, you realize that you’d forgotten already what you learned last year: that being outside gives you a sense of calm and an appreciation for the basics, like the sun and the sky.

Towards the end of the hike, a warm, orange-colored light comes through the trees and you’re aware that the sun is setting.


You’re feeling better.


One Response to “And the Memory Will Shine”

  1. Let Me Take You Down « Whole Hog Says:

    […] When we need a escape from the City, we often head north. We might go to the Marin Headlands or to Mt. Tam for a hike. Or, drive a little farther and there’s all that Point Reyes offers. Up north, there are […]

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