A squirrel chatters at me from the live oak’s branches behind me. A mourning dove coo’s from across Shoal creek, gurgling through a hand-built rock dam. A cardinal calls “pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty.” Other tweets and twitters, recognizable, but unnamed, join the chorus, as the rising sun’s beams glide down the rocky limestone ledge opposite me. My spot is noisier in the morning. All these beings have opinions for this essay. Normally, I come sit by this ribbon of water in the evening or afternoon, but I woke earlier than usual this morning. I knew I needed this place’s help to write about our relationship.
Walking through San Francisco in the late afternoon, I’m struck by the intense contrast of shadow and light. The buildings seem to be standing on their tip toes competing for the suns last rays of warmth and leaving us below in the in-rushing flood of cold shadows. I think of canyons I’ve hiked at this … More Freedom and Constraint