As I settle back into life in San Francisco, I took a look back at some of the recent posts I had written, and was reminded of my somewhat unstable sleep before I left. My return mirrored that in reverse – waking up ridiculously early for the first couple of days, and then moving back towards my usual hours, which might still be ridiculously early by other people’s standards.
The warm sun continued for a few days, and now has also settled back into more seasonal temperatures, with a slight chill in the air; the difference may only be a few degrees, but it is the difference between wearing a t-shirt and shorts when I wake up, and donning a fleece and warm socks.
On Sunday, as I waited for the daylight to come, I remembered that this time of year used to be hard for me when I lived at Zen Center, itching to get out on my bike early on a Sunday morning (my only free day), and having to wait until at least seven (I feel very clear in not wanting to set out in the dark, though I have the lights to do it…). There was always a relief when the clocks went back, with the substantial trade-off of losing the light in the evening; this week it was getting dark by the time I got to my local farmers’ market after work, but only after a glowing sunset – typical for autumnal days here.
I have resumed parts of my usual routine – an Airbnb hike with a young English couple on Saturday; sitting on the Embarcadero with Zachary and some of the regulars on Monday; back to my part-time day job on Tuesday, where the eight-hours seem long after weeks of varied activity. There have been more occasional delights as well: the first of the three weddings on my slate, at a thankfully fog-free Baker Beach on Sunday afternoon.
My riding legs are starting to come back, after tackling San Bruno Mountain on Sunday, with pockets of warm and cool air on the way up, and the Headlands on Monday morning, pale silhouettes of the city from the bridge, the sun faintly glowing on the rocks by the water. The sense of having climbed, the joy of the views and the distance unrolling in front of me, are as nourishing as always.
We even survived the annual onslaught of the Blue Angels (which I am often glad to miss), and a smallish earthquake which was not enough to rouse me from my bed the other night. We are still figuring out whether this was just a precursor to something a little more challenging.
Should we all make it to Saturday, I will be offering the meditation instruction at Zen Center, if you are in the vicinity – and if you would if you could, but can’t, I have also posted the instruction I gave recently in Hebden Bridge, on the audio page.
Garret and Esther from Belfast were visiting, and we got the full Blue Angel display while we were in North Beach.
An intimate wedding on Baker Beach, albeit shared with everyone else who was there.
An iPhone is never going to do justice to a glorious sunset, but it was all I had to hand.