I love to be up very early.
I love to be up before the majority of people, before the hustle and bustle of the city.
I love to walk in the first morning sun.
This morning marks my last day in San Francisco, and so I was up and across the street at the Sbux by 7am.
Sometimes, most times when I’m in a different country, I have this compulsion to look around and really look at the people. You know, really see them, see the boys and girls behind the counter making the espressos, and the lattes and the cappuccinos, and as I watch them I wonder who they are, what their lives are like.
Isn’t it true that everyone crafts their lives in their own little corner of the world.
Here in Chinatown the morning sun rushes up the streets, up the hills.
…and people begin to open their shops for the day. Delivery trucks deliver, shop keepers select their products and display them packed tightly in cardboard boxes, stacks and stacks tall. Shoppers begin selecting their goods.
And each day begins like the next, like the one tomorrow will, even if I’m not here, like it began last week, last year…
Will these be the same people here? Will another camera mad tourist wander thru here after me? Would they care about every day life or will they take the street car to the piers, to the malls?
The sun creeps over the hill and onto the Italian district.
Here things are probably a little different than the excitement of yesterday’s parade.
But coffee shops are open and glowing from within, baker are baking and owners are sprucing up their little corners of the world possibly dreaming of Italy, possibly waiting for friends to drop by.
A cruise ship has docked overnight. It is The Sapphire Princess. This morning the good people will wake in their cabins and disembark to explore the city. I wonder if some of them will walk all the way to the Golden Gate bridge like I did yesterday.
The little boats haven’t started their trade yet. Their crew is probably still tucked up in bed.
And beyond the boats are the sea lions. July to March they bark away and jostle for position on these rafts that they have “stolen” just after the earthquake of 1989. But people love them and let them steal away.
I love them. I love to watch them.
When they are sleepy they love to cuddle. They are thigmotactic animals, meaning they are calmer and rest easier if they have close physical contact with each other. Isn’t that true of you and me? Probably also true of the good people in Chinatown, in the Italian district. Much like everywhere in the world. We feel the calmness, the easiness when we hug our children and our love, when hold hands, when we cuddle up for the night.
That’s how we form bonds, attachments, that, even after a day away, a month away, a year, are still there, still burning strong, still the power, the force that brings meaning and happiness to our lives.
Then behind me the city starts to wake and it’s time for me to walk back up the hill, soon to return home to Vancouver to hug my child.