Stairs converge and there is a small gathering of people venturing to where the views are vast and necks crane. I stay back in my own curated adventure. What's down this alley? How old is this house? What's being built down there? Who owns that vintage car? Does that dog know the world is different now? Exactly how cold is the water in the bay? No one answers these imagined conversation starters. I can feel the muscles in my legs burn a bit as I go up and down the steepest streets, mazing and lazing about.
The first time I visited Coit Tower, I remember being more fascinated with the collected coins people threw in the window ledges than I was about the glorious view. What were their wishes and from where had the coins traveled? I also remember the time, when out pedaling and forgetting my lock, I rolled my bicycle inside to study the murals. They were primarily painted in the 1930s by students and faculty of the same school I attended just a stones throw from here.
Like most days, I try to stay the explorer, the optimist, the gatherer of images. I try not to let the weight of these recent months consume me. When I am out roaming about, even in a place very familiar, I see new things. I bring my collected experience and also a heart wide open, ready for the joy of the unforeseen. That joy is a bit bittersweet as of late, but it is joy all the same.