Sunday Afternoon in the Park, Bay Area Style


Today was a day for a long walk, and nearby Lake Chabot was my destination. The afternoon was so beautiful and warm that the picnic areas were overflowing with people. I walked past the Baha’i Faith Picnic, the Gonzales Family Reunion, a wedding reception BBQ, numerous folk with fishing poles and one father and daughter combination speaking something other than English, but the struggle to teach your child how to ride a bike needed no translation. It was the kind of day where our connections, the things we all love and cherish, were far more visible than the issues that divide us.

I know the area fairly well, and in each direction the lake is surrounded by hills. Over some is more wilderness, over others stunning vistas of the Bay and its surrounds, home to millions of people.
Part of Lake Chabot is a bird sanctuary with a lot of ducks, cranes and geese. They conversed in their own languages as well, but I had no clue there what it meant. The walking/biking path crosses the marsh where they congregate, then turns back on the lake. There were no motorized boats to break the quiet cacophony of nature.

Usually I exercise to beat-throbbing techno/rave but today I felt like Philip Glass and Ray Lynch, and most definitely the even balance of Bach. In the mid-afternoon light the lake was blue with dazzling sparkles; by late afternoon the water had shaded to jade and sparkles went away. I asked myself how I intended to ensure that minute details like the shadows of veins in leaves or the blue-eyed winking of wildflowers would show up in my work. How would I describe that sight, or this sound? How would my characters in Warming Trend, Ani and Eve, reflect on such prosaic and miraculous things?
The sun was too warm to allow for any firm answers, but I’ll sleep on those impressions and see tomorrow what fruit might result. When I know, you’ll know.

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