“Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
― Edward O. Wilson,
Here is Burlingame, CA, which is the home of SFO and its attendant fleet of airport hotels, trucking companies, passenger shuttles, warehouses, security headquarters, and cargo forwarders. Pairs of aircraft roar over the water in five minute intervals as they approach the airport. Cars roar by on the freeway that feeds into fabled San Francisco. Their reflections flash in the sleek black glass buildings that line the highway.
There is also, in Burlingame, an un-authorized footpath at the edge of the water – a wild space to wander if one would escape the hotel grounds with their carefully arranged plantings. The path follows the waterline above broken slags of concrete – remnants of a more manicured edging of the shore? – and between scraggly and indomitable tufts of wild fennel. A man in a street sweeping vehicle is letting his pit-bull pup out to play at the edge of a parking lot and a field of orange California poppies and dry grasses. Further on there is an abandoned development planted in rosemary and irises, concrete esplanades crumbling into the pale green water and an elaborate wrought-iron gateway to the empty space, a space in the process of being reclaimed by grasses and small trees. Across the street is a construction site where machines are digging into the chalky soil for the foundation of another office building or hotel.
Along the footpath there are bunches of lavender wild-flowers. Small wonders of the world, these throw-away riches of California!