This was the view as my plane took off from Oakland, CA, this morning -- the two spans of the San Francisco Bay Bridge meeting at Yerba Buena Island in the foreground, the northern half of San Francisco on the left, and southern Marin County on the right, with the Golden Gate Bridge, linking the two, barely visible in this smaller view but clearer if you click and see the large version.
Yesterday I had lunch with eight or so former high school classmates in the charming but touristy little waterfront hamlet of Sausalito, visible if you follow the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin and look for the first built-up area along the coast to the right. It was idyllic -- a beautiful clear day in the 50s, yachts bobbing at anchor in the harbor, a couple of glasses of a pleasant Pinot Grigio warming the senses, a crab and avocado sandwich on the plate, lots of reminiscences and catching up and laughter and exclamations. But it didn't feel like home, although I spent my formative years out there. Home was the feeling I had as I flew across the darkening midwestern landscape in late afternoon, seeing a pinpoint of light surrounded by a little bracket of a windbreak repeated on farm after farm across southern Minnesota. Home was the feeling I had as Dave drove me down Cedar into Northfield, turning left off Hwy 3 onto Third St., crossing the bridge, and coming into Bridge Square all twinkly with holiday lights. Home was hugging my children for the first time in a week. I'm glad to be back.