Sandy and I occasionally take our daily walk at Marina Park at the San Leandro Marina where the spectacular beauty of the bay reminds me how lucky we are to live in the Bay Area. It’s particularly true at this time of year when hear about the East Coast getting hammered with freezing temperatures and blizzards. Here the smooth blue Bay waters, encircled by rolling green hills and the view of San Francisco is right out of a scene of Dorothy’s Emerald City.
We don’t usually think of San Leandro, Hayward, Union City or Fremont as bayside communities but we are very fortunate to have that unique distinction. We may not have Alameda’s sandy beaches but we do have world class Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge with its Pacific Flyway, 280 species of birds and millions of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl at our doorstep.
I have to admit that I haven’t always appreciated the Bay. As a commuter from Fremont to Belmont on the San Francisco peninsula for 31 years I once calculated that I had traveled the equivalent of the half the distance to the moon (120,000 miles) by just crossing the Bay on the Hayward San Mateo Bridge. When my commuting first begun in1965 the bridge was just 2 lanes in each direction with tiny turn-outs and a drawbridge that would periodically open to allow boat traffic to pass. The bridge fare of $.25 was collected in mission style toll booths at both ends of the bridge and traffic wasn’t an issue back then although a sailboat tacking against the light breeze could easily cause serious delays. Built in 1929, The Hayward San Mateo Bridge was, for a time, the longest bridge in the world (It’s still the longest in California and number 25 in the world!).
Have you noticed how our view of things change as the years pass and what once seemed to be an obstacle turned out to actually be a gift? As we begin the New Year it may be a good time to review our challenges and roadblocks. Who knows, there just may be a shimmering blessing waiting to be discovered.
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2017 -Bill