: views from the Hill

Saturday, January 03, 2009

apart from the foghorns

Arleen said, apart from the foghorns ...

The fog blows in these days, if the fog blows in, and burns off again a few hours later. The fog billows in through the Golden Gate and hits Pier 39 or so and peels off north toward Vallejo. We live in the banana belt and get less fog than the northwestern quad of the city.

Some times when I'm sitting in my office, or snoozing in bed in the morning, or puzzling over a Sudoku in the morning paper at breakfast, I hear the foghorns at the bridge, and hear the tankers and container ships calling out through the fog, I'm here, I'm coming in, Get out of my way because I can't see you. Each ship has a different pitch. I'm here, says one. I'm here, says another. Coming through, says a third.

The ships' horns are low and mournful, like a train's whistle echoing up the canyon. I hear the fog horns, but when I look out I see only blue skies and sunshine on the Bay Bridge and folks playing soccer down at Pier 27. Blue skies, but still the ships call out.

I lean out over the railing and look north and see a thick bank of fog.

Given time ... if I can hear the ships calling, the fog will get heavy enough to curl around Pier 39 and head south toward us. The fog creeps in and spills past the piers and laps up on the bridge and reaches high enough and thick enough to cover us all in muffling grey cloudstuff. Time to curl up in a blanket with a good book.

Foghorns any day. Cozy. Snuggle. Warm. Peace.

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