Monday, August 23, 2010


I hail in the completion of one year in the Foggy City tomorrow, August 24th.

My love affair with San Francisco wasn’t always so profound. When I first moved to San Francisco, I was in deep lust with the city. I was overwhelmed by its beauty: gentle waves of the Edwardian windows along the building facades, sail boats freckling the bay on a sunny day, the cascades of fog pouring over the mountains and Golden Gate Bridge and the eclectic group of people that calls this city home. A few months in, when the honeymoon phase receded, I grappled to fill in the voids of “home” sustenance and wondered if perhaps my infatuation had only been a fleeting crush.

During this era of doubt, I contemplated retreating back to the East, my tail between my legs. Immersed in this era of worry, I spent a lot of time looking for escapes and frequented a Presbyterian church for Sunday morning service, looking for some divine intervention or answers. There was one specific week that had been especially arduous, and as I trudged up steep hills to the morning service, I felt convinced that it was time to load up a U-Haul and schlep my personal belongings back home, defeated.

A good church service always leaves me feeling refreshed. I feel as though I’m blindly dehydrated throughout the week, ignorant to extent of my own thirst until the reverberation of hymns and sermon lessons wash over me. In that specific arduous week, the New Testament verse selection for the sermon couldn’t have been germane:

Luke 13: 6-9

6Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.

7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'

8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If
not, then cut it down.' "

A long time ago, my Great Grandmother had told my mom that the true test of any new relationship was to endure four seasons. One year: a full cycle. And if the relationship surpasses the one-year marker, then it has truly demonstrated its worth. I had my doubts, but after that sermon, my haste to give up on the West Coast dissipated, and I reconciled to allot this city a full year to flourish. And, one year after moving in, San Francisco has born me fruit. San Francisco has become a part of me, and me a part of it.

There are days where I catch a glimpse of the bay from the towering hills of Pac Heights and the view still takes my breath away. I'm still overtly amused with the impromptu concerts, celebrations, festivals and parades doused about all regions of the city- some with no apparent reason or interlocking theme. I'm grateful for the vast spectrum of cultures, foods and activities readily available at my fingertips. Every day I can walk down the street and catch an array of languages spanning all corners of the globe. I even love San Francisco for the simplicity of days where I can just sit on the beach at Crissy Field and watch the glee of dogs splashing through the waves, wrestling new friends, chasing their tails or digging cavernous ditches.

While the love of my childhood hometown can never be replaced, this new love, for San Francisco is passionate, deep and powerful. It may have taken a few breakdowns, some disputes and overcoming some uncertainty, but this period of growth has only enriched my love for the City and confirmed my fidelity to residency within her limits.

No comments: