Tag Archives: Lake Merritt

Why I am an Urban whatever-I-am

I was really depressed on Thursday, and couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. So I took a walk around Lake Merritt. For about fifteen minutes, I just felt heavy heavy heavy and sad.

And then I looked up at the trees rimming the lake, those very East Bay trees — the ones that, in the winter, get pruned severely, so that that they look like a hand of very arthritic knuckles. But in the spring, branches come out, covered with light green leaves.

After about fifteen minutes of passing them by, I had to stop and take pictures of them because I was so awestruck by them.

Full of that awe, I started trying to articulate what I was feeling. Life is good? Nope. I wasn’t there yet. But I was firmly rooted in Life is Precious, and Life is Beautiful, and Life is Miraculous.

From that point on, it just got better and better. I walked to the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library on 14th Street, and looked up and borrowed a typical odd and unrelated mix of books to read.

I walked around the rest of the lake home. By that time, I was openly smiling as I walked.

There are so many things to feel fierce about in this city: the history, the people, the determination to survive even when things get unbearable, as well as the natural beauty it’s situated in. Though I’m a Brooklyn girl, born and bred, and I fantasize about a small farm where I can grow unlimited crops, I love Oakland. I am grateful to live in it. And in this moment, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

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