“It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.” ~ Oscar Wilde
|First steps on Fifth Avenue in San Francisco|
Some sage person (who?) said we feel most at ease in the place we learned to walk. The ground in that particular place hums like a tuning fork against your bones.
I was born in the southern Appalachians and lived thereabouts until I was 23, but it was in San Francisco that I took my first steps. In an apartment on Fifth Avenue near the old French Hospital. My father was stationed at the Presidio, and Mom and I came out to be with him.
There are photos of me waddling all around the city in baby shoes, usually with one parent or the other kneeling nearby with outstretched arms to catch me: At the Palace of Fine Arts, in the Japanese Tea Garden, at Fort Point, on Baker Beach.
I have no memory of that time. Yet, as a young adult, I moved back to San Francisco and I've stayed nigh on 30 years. My work is here. My friends are here. My children were born and raised here.
San Francisco feels exactly right. In my bones.