Still

At the midway point during my morning ride along the Bay Trail today, I stopped. I have a few different places where I usually turn right around to head home. But today, having traveled further than usual, a clear schedule, and an empty park bench, an opportunity was calling. I stopped to rest for maybe 10 minutes — not a long time, but enough. I could hear cars whizzing past on the 101 behind me.

Rest stop along the Bay Trail in San Mateo
My trusty 8-speed roadster from Mission Bikes in San Francisco.

The wind, unusual at this time of day, had begun to recede, but I detected a slight gasoline smell in the air, either from the 101 or SFO, just to the north. A man was sitting closer to the shoreline, the tide low, and a small child (probably his given the stroller parked to his right) playing nearby on the rocks. The fog over SF was starting to burn off, but the city remained obscured.

Planes were rumbling overhead — ascending from and descending into SFO. I’m used to seeing a near-constant line of them in the air in this area, but today and for the last few months there’s been a pronounced break between each one, their numbers not unexpectedly reduced.

Sitting silently left my mind quiet, maybe for the first time in too long. A moment of simply being. Everything faded into the background. It was only a moment, but it was good. I should do that more often. We probably all should.