Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday in the Park


Finally I had the good sense to walk out the door and turn the few hundred yards to Golden Gate Park. 51 degrees in January and a blue sky that was at once welcome and not. We had a teasing mist and light rain yesterday, hopes raised for the precipitation we so dearly need. But now the sun was spreading its benificent light and the park was alive with motion. The Caroussel was spinning, the swings were swinging, the frisbess were floating, the seagulls soaring. Over by the hill, the Sunday drummers and gyrating dancers, across the way the tennis balls lobbed and whammed over the net. Out on Kennedy Drive, the bicycle wheels rolling, the rollerbladers whirling and twirling, the joggers bobbing, the walkers…well, walking. Everywhere a carnival of motion, a San Francisco Sabbath, all out in the air away from the screens and chores and duties.

Me, too, a lighter weight to my stride after a busy week and off to my spot in the Arboretum where St. Francis bends over offering a perpetual blessing to the rhodendron bush now bare. The smells of rosemary and wild onion and sage and the bench where a bell from Veracruz, Mexico used to hang that is mysteriously gone. Writing in my blue journal trying to capture a bit of the week’s magic, to be read some rainy day (please!) sometime hence, perhaps when I'm in need of remembering how things were when each day demanded the full range of my meager abilities. 

The year has fully turned and this morning I saw the first plum blossom on our garden’s tree, a single bloom sent as a scout to announce the February color to come, San Francisco’s early spring. A few more weeks of school await, culminating with the dreaded report cards, that teacher’s hurdle than we know we must leap over and keeps banging our shins. But also a pleasure to sit and imagine and remember each child and try to celebrate their shining moments and name their challenges that ask for their effort. Come February, it's my mid-year time off, with inviting Orff travels awaiting in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Chile, Brazil, my blog's title earned anew. 

Earlier this afternoon, caught the end of the 49’ers football game and shared in the excitement of approaching the Super Bowl without really deserving it. I’m a shameless fair-weather fan, not willing to pay my dues and watch a whole season’s worth and endure those Budweiser commercials. More and more I loathe the culture that breeds winners and losers and yet, I’m as excited as the next guy when the San Francisco teams are in the championships. A place for everything, everything in its place. In the day by day, we would do well to lean heavily to shared victories of people old and young claiming their proper humanity and keep the scoreboards off to the side. But life is life and volleyball is volleyball and I prefer to play with a net and keep score.

Nobody in the park today cared if you were walking, jogging, roller skating, biking, throwing a football or riding a Caroussel horse. Nobody valued one over the other, nobody was keeping score, nobody was judged on their ability to wholly savor Spring’s promise on the way. And wasn’t it fine?!

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