Lands End, probably the most gorgeous place I’ve ever witnessed. It’s almost like at a digitally drawn art piece, with colours so perfectly balanced, every tree, rock and stone placed at its position with precision and the sunny skies that magnifies the already present grandeur.
I can’t remember how long I stood at the top of the Lands End trail head, trying hard to absorb every inch of beautiful detail. It’s like there’s suddenly so much colours, tones and shades that your eyes just can’t seem to keep up with.
I knew that Lands End is one of the popular hiking/biking trails in San Francisco, and that it boasts awesome scenery of coastlines and the Golden Gate Bridge from afar. But I didn’t expect it to be so, so gorgeous. I can’t even find sufficiently appropriate adjectives to describe that place. I think I took something like 200 over photos just during that few hours when I hiked the trail, though I know viewing a million shots of Lands End can never substitute being physically there. (I’ll deal with those 200 photos tomorrow, or maybe the day after.)
At the trail head was the Sutro Bath Ruins, and to get down there (it’s seriously steep) you can take this seemingly unlimited flight of stairs, or well, slide down the spongy grass. The latter sounds crazy, yes, but I saw kids (like tiny ones) happily sitting on the grass and sliding down the grass to the area below. For a moment I panicked when I saw a couple of kids going down. That slope is insanely steep, from where I was standing, within half a second those kids disappeared into the green mash below. And their mom just sat there and watched. I didn’t know if I found admiration for the mother or for her kids.
Never in the right mind would I ever do something like that. It’s scary even just looking down from the edge, never mind treating it like some Big Splash ride. And those kids did it without harboring second thought.
I realized how brave we all used to be when we were kids. Like when I was in Seattle I was thinking the same thing while watching little kids ice skate at Seattle Center’s skating rink. Kids, though so tiny in size, have such huge courage. It doesn’t seem to bother them that learning ice skating means falling down a lot and falling down could hurt. They skate a little, fall, get up, and keep trying over and over. Some fall so hard that bystanders at the outskirts of the rink get startled, but they just pick themselves back up like it was really no big deal.
Somehow as we grow older, we lose that big courage we once had. We think and speculate what-if scenarios before even doing something, imagining worst-case scenarios and planting self-manufactured fear into ourselves. More often than not, many of the things we fear as adults are irrational and silly. We fear heights, we fear animals, we fear authority, we fear our bosses, we fear losing friendships, we fear death, we fear love, we fear heartbreaks, we fear losses. Yeah, sure we had our share of fears as kids. We feared our parents, our teachers, going to school.. But somehow we seemed a lot more resilient and brave than we are now.
I wonder if our greater capacity to think has done us more harm than good; precisely because we are more able to think, comprehend, and analyze, we end up indulging in unnecessary thought processes that complicates every component of life. They always say that kids are more easily contented. That they attain happiness a lot faster than adults. Maybe that’s because as kids we didn’t think that much. When we got MacDonald’s breakfast, we were happy. We didn’t think about that impending load of calories entering our body system. When we felt sad, we cried. We didn’t think about how crying might make us look emotionally weak and vulnerable. When we thought about something, we’d say it out loud. We didn’t think about whether what we were going to say would have repercussions on people around us, or if it would contradict the external image we were trying to upkeep.
As kids, we didn’t care as much about the world; we cared a lot more about ourselves, and we were honest with ourselves. Maybe that’s just all we need to be happy — a little bit of selfishness, and a little more honesty.