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The Heat Arrives

San Francisco does not endure heat waves.  We whine, and dig to the bottom of our dresser drawers for the clothes we save aside for summer trips to Tahoe.  If it carries on for more than 3 days, we head down to Target or Goodwill to find an electric fan.  No need to spend too much money, it will be over before charge appears on the credit card.  A bike ride on a warm day needs extra planning.  Cross off Mt Tam, too hot and too steep.  Down to Baker Beach is a good plan, but you have to ride back up again.  Best to head to Crissy Field and enjoy the lake-like shimmer of the bay, the red poppy towers of the bridge against the cornflower sky.  Maybe wade into the bay, up to your calves.  You can say to yourself “there, I did it”.

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Rolling in to Summer

It was a hot weekend.  Early Spring hot, with just a few wisps of fog around the bridge.  The Marin side is in full bloom, and while we were resting at the top of the hill from Ft Baker we saw a hummingbird.  One of my group, a mother from outside London, had never seen a live hummingbird and was in a state of awe.  They are miracles, and small, impossible things.  When you see them everyday you forget.  When you’re with someone who has never seen one, it helps you remember.

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Take it In

It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. ‘I am watching you — are you watching yourself in me?’ Most travelers hurry too much…the great thing is to try and travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, and not to much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly — but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling…you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle, you’ll be there –
Lawrence Durrell