A Moment in My Life – Monday, October 19, 2020
One day not too long ago, I was thinking of places where I’d like to visit that I haven’t gone to yet. It didn’t have to be faraway places, just uncharted territory for me. One was San Bruno Mountain, where I would have loved to hike through the walking trails with Mark. We never thought about going there when he was alive. When I pondered all the places that I would have liked to go with him, this location popped into mind. Oh, wouldn’t it have been fun to take a hike up there? I thought, and that was it. I moved on to other places and kept dreaming.
Not until the two teenagers started the fire on Sign Hill did my eyes open that, like anything else, this mountain could vanish in a snap. I was blissfully naïve, treating Sign Hill like a canvas on my wall—static—unwavering—always there. I’ve enjoyed this view as a single dimension canvas without any curiosity. I never considered what was beyond my sight. Not until the fire broke out when people posted all the pictures and videos from different angles did Sign Hill become 3D. What an eye-opening experience that was!
I also didn’t know that it was called Sign Hill. It’s always been the sign on San Bruno Mountain to me. I’ve been enjoying its unwavering beauty from afar for years—never thinking beyond the obvious. I pride myself on not taking anything for granted, but I’ve come to realize that I have taken San Bruno Mountain for granted as something that will always be there every time I look.
Suddenly this beautiful canvas on my distant wall became obtainable and real. I’m not a hiker. I’m not outdoorsy, for that matter. I never considered how massive this mountain was or that there were many trails for our enjoyment. I imagined only a simple short path, but what did I know? Even while the fire flamed across the hillside, it didn’t dawn on me that homes were near enough to get singed. Major fires aren’t a threat to this area, and that’s a blessing. Another blessing is that, up until now, nobody has gone up there to ignite a fire. We still don’t know what possessed those boys to do what they did, why they did it, or what they were trying to do. I’m grateful that the fire department was able to contain and extinguish the fire safely. They even watched for hot spots through the night to prevent potential new fires. They thought of everything! They are our heroes!
I don’t know if others feel this way, but for me, the one good thing from Friday’s fire was that it gave me a new appreciation for Sign Hill. It resides right outside my window, and every day I sit here to write, it’s like she and I are sitting opposite each other, silently keeping one another company as we do our thing. The only difference now is that I no longer see her as one dimension. I ponder all her characteristics and appreciate her from different angles until the one day I shall take that hike on Sign Hill, with Mark in spirit, because if he were here, I know that’s a place where we would go.