Seal Rocks: a Natural Heart and a Moment in Time

Over the years, I’ve taken several moments to stop to take in all that’s around me. I’d like to think way more than several. Sometimes I have my camera on me; many times, unfortunately, I don’t, but I always make a mental note. On one particular Friday evening on my way home from the office, I decided to stop at Sutro Baths at Lands’ End in the Presidio of San Francisco.

Lands’ End has a special place in my heart for me; it always will. Taylor and I had lived in the Bay Area for two months after moving here, yet was still unable to find a place to live. In that time, we had shacked ourselves up at a hotel in San Rafael, miserable — especially Taylor. He had lost almost fifteen pounds, skin and bones from the 100 plus pound dense piece of dog that he was prior to our arrival in the Bay. Housing was hard to come by, San Francisco’s competitive market difficult to break into, even harder when you have a big dog such as I. Places that would even allow a dog, would apply a 35-lb weight limit. Taylor’s head weighed 35 lbs, so that was a tough sell.

To provide solace for our souls, we would find places to hike. Our favourite was Lands’ End; and we would always end up at Sutro Baths. With the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and a perfect view of Seal Rocks dotted with pelicans perched between take offs, Sutro Baths was located on the western most part of the hike and the city. Walking down the trail to it, from a certain vantage point either there or up above at Point Lobos, you could see a natural opening formed inside Seal Rocks; and very quickly you realize that it’s in the shape of a heart. There it was, out in the Pacific, nature’s way of showing us that love is natural, love is real, that love truly exists, and that it is here for us to see.

It was a little over a year ago on a particular Friday evening at Sutro Baths, I happened to spot a couple far out on the rocks to the right of my view of Seal Rocks. Dangerously close to the Pacific with its waves crashing around the couple, it was a singularly romantic moment in time. Taking pictures, I could not but help see them maybe even in a way they did not see themselves. I wondered if they sought moments like this all the time? I wondered if they were happy. I wondered if they were in love. It would seem to me that they were both. I wondered if they would always feel that way; or would they forget this moment? I had no idea who they were, and maybe never would; but I will never forget them. I have since taken couples that are family and close friends to that spot for pictures, not nearly as close to the ocean as they were (cos seriously, it’s dangerous). It’s been a year today; and I still think about that moment in time.

“That’s what it feels like when you touch me. Like millions of tiny universes being born and then dying in the space between your finger and my skin. Sometimes I forget.” — Iain Thomas, “I Wrote This For You”

I’m one of those guys who will never forget.

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