Thursday, September 22, 2011
A Quick Look Back Before Fall
Attention must be paid to the small pleasures, the day-to-day events that cause a frisson of joy. Here are a dozen of my momentary pleasures from the past couple of weeks. Take time to make note of yours.
1. Knowing that less than two weeks ago I walked to the top of Angel Island, which is 788 feet high. Here’s a quick history lesson from the web site:
· Three thousand years ago Angel Island served as a fishing and hunting site for Coastal Miwok Indians. It was later a haven for Spanish Explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala, a cattle ranch, and a U.S. Army post starting with the Civil War.
· From 1910 to 1940, the island processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China. During World War II, Japanese, and German POWs were held on the island, which was also used as a jumping-off point for American soldiers returning from the Pacific. In the ’50s and ’60s, the island was home to a Nike missile site.
· In 1954 a number of citizen’s groups managed to persuade the California State Park Commission to obtain 36.82 acres. In 1962 the Nike missile site on the south side of the island was deactivated, and the army left the island. In December of that year, the entire island was turned over to the State of California.
The view from the top was splendid, maybe especially so because I am a mermaid, at home in, on and near water – not a mountain goat.
I’m not at all skilled at hiking up (or down) steep, muddy, rutted trails littered with twigs and rocks, but I grabbed my walking stick and followed my family to the top. My son and daughter-in-law took turns walking with me, just in case I missed a step and plummeted down the hill. Along the way, we heard a woodpecker, saw hawks hovering on wind drafts and watched a snake crossing the road.
2. Making time to take inventory of “perfect gifts for someone” that I have stored in boxes and bags in the back of the closet.
3. Finding Sandy Wood’s great jewelry web site at www.gracelily.com/products
4. Discovering that Moscow Mules are not named for mules from Moscow, Missouri – though that would have been cool --and tasting for the first time another ginger beer-based beverage at Dosa, a favorite Indian restaurant.
5. Interviewing Julie Salamon, the charming author of the new biography on Wendy Wasserstein, playwright extraordinaire.
6. Sleeping with the window open – it’s summer at last here in San Francisco!
7. Seeing the compelling movie “Love Hate Love” at the Jewish Community Center.
8. Cleaning off my desk and clearing out enough files to fill a grocery bag for the recycling bin.
9. Watching little girls (and a 36-year-old man) enjoy an inflated “jumpy house” at a 6-year-old’s birthday party.
10. Being drawn into the world (and heart) of Brian Copeland at his show “Not a Genuine Black Man.”
11. Hearing the physical therapist say my body is working better than ever, one full month after my last appointment.
12. Welcoming the Fall Equinox with new insights about my work life.