Today didn’t start out as the most delightful day.
First of all, it’s Sunday, and Sundays are always tough because I’ve finally realized* that regardless of age, whether 17 or 30-something, Sundays are a school night. Which is a disappointment, because in all your youthful naivety as a child, dreaming about the wonderful world of adulthood, you think you’ll be able to leave some of your responsibilities behind when you leave school and leave the nest, only to discover that you trade book reports for quarterly reports and at some point, when true responsibility smacks you in the face you realize that being an adult is not all that dissimilar to being a child, except that you can buy as much soda as you want without asking permission and in some cases, your parents’ advice might not have been so lame after all. Adult Sundays, much like childhood Sundays, are full of responsibility. The respite of the weekend is over, and the rat race of the real world looms ahead.
Sundays, in short, can be stressful.
This Sunday in particular started off on the wrong foot entirely, as I woke up later than I’d intended* with a laundry list of to-do’s in mind, including getting out of the house since I’d spent Friday (luxuriously) relaxing at home and Saturday (miserably) lying around , fighting off either some manner of mild flu or food poisoning** and basically wasting a perfectly gorgeous California summer day feeling sick. Today (recuperated) I was STIR CRAZY but didn’t feel like I had quite enough time to take a long drive to the ocean as I wanted to***.
*God forbid I allow myself to sleep in for no good reason other than…to sleep.
**Friday night’s fish tacos may have been the culprit, although they were totally, totally worth it at the time.
**Not with a checklist running through my head like a bomb: do laundry, wash dishes, pay bills, work, walk dog, clean car, read news, return clothes, tick tick tick tick tick…
In lieu of the coast – an hour+ drive away in any direction – I opted to find a local park for both Bay and I, something I’ve done a handful of times at most since I’ve lived here in the past year (because, when the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean could be right in front of you, why would you settle for a slough?).
After some quick Internet research (thank you, Yelpers) I found a park that was close enough to not take the whole day, allowed dogs and seemed to have some kind of water views, so we ended up at Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park, bordering the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the unique salt evaporation ponds.
The park doesn’t look like much, except that when you arrive, you might see egrets stalking quietly in the marsh, or any of over 160 other species of birds. And hiking to the top of the rolling hills, you might be surprised at the expansive views of the park, the wetlands and the salt ponds, and upon descending down into the center of the park, with the hills creating a barrier from the freeway, even more surprised at the quiet and serenity.
My old dog couldn’t make it very far, but it was far enough for us to have finally enjoyed simply being OUT this weekend, exploring new terrain and discovering another place in the Bay to call ours.
So, as with many things that start poorly, my Sunday ended up being delightful instead of stressful, and – even in this small adventure – wonderfully memorable. In 5 years I’ll never remember how much laundry I completed on this Sunday, but I’ll certainly remember a happy little hike with my happy little dog.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what life is all about?