#1 A Lesson From the Fog

Drenched in an eerie thick blanket of fog with misty sprinkles all along the Bay.

San Francisco was solemn, grey, and with an almost somber feeling of dismay.

Even though it was a Thursday, Clement street was empty, desolate, and littered with a tinge of darkness. This is the San Francisco I’ve grown to know, the San Francisco that most don’t tell you about.

My wife, sister, and I decided to take a little evening jog. I knew the Lands End Trailhead would be empty because the residents of the city habitually stay indoors even with the slightest whiff of inclement weather.

It was gloomy. However, my facial expression didn’t even have a hint of sadness. I’ve grown to love the fog. It’s when the city is desolate, mysterious, and with little to no people. Even though the scenery is somewhat dystopian in feeling, my heart pontificates happiness.

I love it.

The city was mine for the taking.

Upon arrival at the Sutro Baths, the Pacific was nowhere to be found. The waves overshadowed her grandeur and what was left was the chaotic roar of the ocean. Without the sight of a single current, it still moved as if it had a heartbeat.

For a brief moment in time and space, my eyes gave way to my ears and the ocean’s chorus synced with my breath. It played a turbulent but majestic melody.

I took a deep breath. With each inhale, I took in life, and with every exhale I gave it all back.

As we walked through the corridors of the trail, we were greeted by an oasis of bushes. Below, them were roses with infrequent patterns of yellow and rose. Scattered around them were plum-colored flowers that looked as if they were visiting.

The dense fog made it impossible to see anything else except within a few yards radius. I could barely see what was in the back of me, much less, what lay beyond.

It was a lesson in presence.

The term presence has become a cliche. Now that I think of it, to say cliche is a cliche, but I’ll continue despite my short grain of pessimism and tell you what the fog taught me.

The past and future are nothing but a thick and dense blanket of fog.

That the past and future are non-existent.

They are stories we tell ourselves, masqueraded in memory and dreams of tomorrow.

When we sit with ourselves at this moment, we can discover the unique fragrance of joy and peace.

Now is when our thoughts can rest. It’s when the words of William Blake echo loudly in the caves of my soul. It’s where we can hold infinity in the palm of our hands and eternity in an hour.

With love,
Anand

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