Moon Over the Golden Gate

I could not have predicted or envisioned this moment, even if I had wanted. I was on my way home from a wonderful dinner at Burma Superstar and watching the NBA Finals Game 7 at The Bitter End in the Inner Richmond, driving along the Golden Gate Bridge, when I happened to look right and there it was. The full moon hung in the sky just above the city. I hadn’t seen it till that very moment. And I had to stop. For the next two hours I watched it rise.

“You’re just too good to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.
You’d be like heaven to touch.”

Sadly, I didn’t have my camera and had to make do with my iPhone instead. In the three years I’ve lived here, only the harvest moon from last October could beat tonight’s moon. It was absolutely huge, bright and white, its face smiling at us all. Stopping at Vista Point on the east side of the bridge, the exit right after the bridge heading north on the 101, to admire both it and the sky was once again filled with pinks, purples and blues, dotted with sporadic trailing clouds. I said hello to Eric and his wife Cammie, their kids Evan and Tabitha. They were visiting from Sacramento, having moved there from Milwaukee around the time I moved here. We talked about the beauty of this particular moon and this particular sky, of San Francisco and Marin, and how thoroughly friendly and engaging Midwesterners were. With their iPhone, I took pictures of them against the San Francisco skyline and the moon, to capture a special family moment before they headed home.IMG_8545

Satisfied but not wanting to leave, I forced myself to get back into my car for the next spot before it got too dark. I wanted to witness tonight’s gift from at least a couple different vantage points. I drove all the way up Conzelmel Road to Hawk Hill, standing in absolute marvel to what I was seeing, the sky by then replaced with Prussian blue surrounding the moon getting brighter and brighter. I walked through two tunnels to stare down the Pacific while there was still bright orange on that side of the bay, before climbing a hill to get back to the moon and bridge. I met Olaf and Mark, visiting from Germany, equipped with a tripod and a high quality Nikon. People from all over the world wanted to see what I was seeing. They had been here two other times, but had never seen the sky so full of life and drama like tonight.

As I walked back, I thought of the game. The Warriors lost at home; and the Bay Area was not happy. Their record breaking regular season would now just be a footnote; Denis Rodman tweeted that the ’95 Bulls would remain the greatest team of all time. The ’85 Celtics and ’86 Lakers, and their fans, surely believed otherwise. I was happy for Cleveland, but really wanted this Warriors team to make history as the best team ever. Now, after over fifty years, Cleveland had their winner, and their prodigal son Lebron returned to deliver them that winner. Surely there was not a dry eye in Cleveland. I hope in October, I’ll be able to join them and shed tears of joy if the Cubbies can end their century plus drought without a World Series championship.

The present unfortunately comes way too quickly.

It’s dark now, and I’m about to leave Hawk Hill, though it’s definitely the last thing I want to do. It’s the shadows the bridge casts that mesmerize me, dancing with the moonlight against the sheet of glasslike water. I feel if I wait long enough, those shadows will reach me too. Though the moon rises to signify the passage of time, the hour glass stands still. I drove away, but within thirty seconds had to stop again. I couldn’t leave. When I finally did decide to leave, it was less than five minutes before I decided to stop again, this time at the Vista Point on the west side of the bridge, the last exit in Marin, heading south on the 101. I walked up the hill again to stand and see the bridge and the moon just above it one more time.

It was just too beautiful for me to leave.

That’s the thing about beauty. It should be appreciated, loved in fact. And you stay as long as possible to absorb it all in, cos in no way should you take it for granted. This moment may never come again. I will go to bed tonight with a smile, cos I saw something beautiful before saying goodbye to the day.

“At long last love has arrived.
And I thank God I’m alive.”

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