Following the Thread of Life

Used Bookstore

Walking along the sidewalk to the bus stop, I found a golden thread in the gutter. The morning sun caught the glitter, catching my attention.

“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.”

-William Stafford

I left the thread, finding a bench to sit on to wait for my bus to take me downtown. Today’s errand was to buy a public transit card that will buy me passage on buses, trains, the subway, and ferry through-out the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am at peace when I am moving.

After purchasing my public transit pass, I walked the downtown, handing a homeless woman change, stopping at the used bookstore to search for travel essays, and surveying the area to see what new businesses have opened, and noted quite a few that have closed and changed hands.

It felt good to walk in the sunshine as a cold nip of breeze touched my bare arms, my jacket wrapped around my waist to make it easier to walk along the sidewalks and make my way through familiar crosswalks.

Half-way through my walk, I decided to stop at a popular deli that serves breakfast and lunch. The deli has been serving since 1952, some locals eat there everyday. A radio reporter was interviewing the chef and customers at the counter when I walked in, asking how business was and what the future will bring as places open up this summer after COVID restrictions have eased more.

I chose a booth in the back, skipping the idea to eat at the breakfast counter by myself, a solo dining challenge I mentioned on my podcast about Eating Alone.

This morning, I felt intimidated seeing only men at the counter seated six feet apart. I hid in my booth in the back watching the diner come to life, the cooks busy in the kitchen, men talking about local politics, and waitresses pouring coffee, taking orders.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Everyday I try to venture out at least once, preferably twice on a walk. I prefer walking in busy areas or nature. The suburbs chase me with melancholy so I tend to avoid them unless I have to walk through to get to my destination. I grew up in suburbs and spent most of my life in them. I love the backyards where I can lose myself in the gardens, but the front yards feel lonely and too quiet.

“Not only must we follow the golden thread towards spiritual freedom, but we must also unravel the garden-variety twine that is wrapped tightly around our hearts.”

-Elizabeth Lesser

Taking the bus back home, I looked out the window dreaming of future trips to Hawaii, to Mexico, to Europe, settling on a short trip to San Francisco, that might be a bit more realistic in the coming days or weeks.

When I am traveling, I feel closer to Scott, closer to spirit, closer to guidance. I feel alive.

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

-Joseph Campbell

Published by As the Road Wanders

Travel Blogger and Traveler

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