Took a stroll through the eucalyptus and pine scrub of the Presidio after work today.

Chancing upon a patch of sun-ripened, summer sweet blackberries is more than enough reward for the quick pace up the hill. The patch has been picked over in spots easy to reach from the trail. I’m not the only one who can’t resist berries right off the vine.

But if you know where to look behind the branches and under the leaves, there are ripe, juicy berries waiting still.

Inspiration Point disappoints yet again. There’s nothing inspiring about emerging from the quiet trail into a busy parking lot. What should be a secluded pinnacle for the weary hiker is instead a photo op for every passing car. Emerging from the trail, you feel cheated, scammed, taken in.

Back down the hill, I’m lying on my back on a simple log bench, the top worn smooth by generations of walkers who have paused here. The canopy above is dotted with patches of sky and bare branches reaching into the blue expanse. There is height here, and space, and quiet. Pudgy clouds meander across the sky, all exuberance and speed worn out from the day.


And I, too, feel the tensions of the day wearing away. Dancing off in the light breeze. Dripping like blackberry juice from stained fingers. Melting into contentment with every breath.

Soon, I will stand up from this bench, emerge from the woods back onto the clean-cut lawns. I will retrieve my bag from an office that—though it looks out towards the woods—is in the world of responsibility and technology and grind.

But for now, for now there is just the tree overhead. There is just the skittering of leaves in the wind, the indignant cry of a hawk. There is just cool quiet and calm. There is just me.




And tomorrow or next week or next month, I will come back to this bench under the trees. Back to this calm. Back.