Sunday evening as Chris and I ate some anniversary short ribs at The Slanted Door, he asked me: “What will you miss the most about this city?” Did I mention we were in the Ferry Building, staring out the window at the bay, watching sail boats smooth past?
My answer was easy, “Not counting friends,” I said, “I’m going to miss how beautiful this city is. I will never get over it.”
The first weekend we were here, we spent a day pushing August in a stroller up and down hills for almost seven miles. We walked from Pacific Heights to North Beach, along the bay to the Marina and all the way up to Fillmore. And I couldn’t believe the beauty of this place: the ocean and mountains and green leafy trees, beautiful houses with bay windows, parks everywhere. The view from the roof of our apartment in North Beach always made me feel like I was living in some European landscape: Colorful houses set on hills one direction, water on the other. I don’t think another city in the US can compare with this one.
The thing about this goodbye is that I keep forgetting it’s happening. Sunday was our last day at City Church. We were late, as per usual. Brooksie started crying during the sermon and I bounced with him in the back. During the last hymn, I joined my husband who looked at me with watery eyes, which, of course, caused me to sniffle a little. Then, we were normal. We said hi to friends, looked at pictures of Natalie and Jason’s new cat on her iPhone, forced August to pee in the potty so he could get a donut, made some jokes as we passed folks on the staircase. And then we were standing outside in the sunshine, opening the stroller, and walking away.
Maybe that’s good. Last things are hard. We walked the five blocks to our home, then we went on to our last farmer’s market and bought strawberries and cherries and peaches. We sat at Alamo Square park (with its fantastic view of downtown) in the sunshine and August covered his face and bare chest (we took his shirt off) in cherry juice.
Did I mention that two different shifts of friends who love my boys came from 3 to 8 so that Chris can I could go out for that anniversary dinner? And did I mention that when I went to bed Sunday night, it felt like any other night in this apartment we love?
But, this week is full of endings: My last Yoobs, August’s last day of school (today), my last Mom’s Group, Playgroup, pediatrician appointment, etc.
Perhaps if you can’t be thankful during the ending, you were never thankful during it. Or, maybe I should say it this way: I’m learning that if you live with a thankful spirit, that thankfulness bleeds over into the whole of things: their beginnings, their middles, their endings.
Today, I’m thankful for the people I’ve loved here. And I’m thankful for the place that held us near them for a sweet season. I’m thankful for endings full of peace and heartache and thanksgiving.
It’s still Grateful June around here. What are you thankful for?