Last night, after I got home from work I had a lot on my mind.
I could have easily sunk onto the couch
but I needed fresh air and went out for a run.
Rather than run along the water, I decided to take the upper route through a neighborhood of big old rambling houses and sidewalks lined with trees with knotted branches and hot pink blooms.
The sky was starting to show signs of a beautiful sunset,
and I wanted to chase it.
About halfway to the sky, I stopped to look out towards the bay and watch the clouds turn sorbet peach, pink and orange.
A guy about my age was admiring the view too.
He was handsome. Settled in his stance.
He stepped towards me, explaining he had flown into San Francisco earlier that afternoon,
but had to get to Humboldt County
and was in need of directions to the train.
What he was doing – high above the city in this quiet, sleepy neighborhood – I don’t know.
I talked him through his route.
I explained that it was simple enough but would take him awhile, and dusk was quickly escaping into dark.
His disposition was confident and kind with a soft-spoken voice.
The type of temperament that someone who relies on the guidance and help from strangers would have.
When I told him it might take a bit of time to make his way downtown for the next leg of his journey,
he responded that he had to walk, and that he didn't mind the dark or the cool air – his only degree of accountability was that he had to be at the next spot at six am.
And I loved him for that response.
And I envied him for his freedom to roam the open road.
Nothing to do but walk and watch and explore –
all through the night with the simple task of getting to the next destination.
And then doing it all over again.
Happy trails to you, stranger.