Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beauty in the ordinary

This is a post for the gallery, week 10. Tara asked Let's all paint a picture of the world we live in: The hidden bits, the bits you feel are special and people should know about. The bits people wouldn't necessarily see.
I think of a lot of my blog post ideas while commuting to work. I have driven from San Francisco to Hayward, a distance of exactly 30 miles, every week day for almost eight years. That is 120,000 miles, back and forth, each day unremarkable, but marking the passage of time nonetheless. Measuring a life in miles. Watching the sun catching the sparkling facets of my beautiful engagement ring.  Driving home in fearful tears, bleeding away a much wanted baby. Growing bigger and bigger in pregnancy with geekygirl and then geekyboy.  Struggling to focus on the road after months of sleepless nights. Frantically careening home because of forgotten breast pump parts, or a call from daycare about a sick child. On the same stretch of highways 101 and 92, over and over again, in a predictable daily rhythm. Still,  I almost never fail to enjoy the beauty of the drive.

Highway 92 crosses the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge. A poor cousin to the more famous bay spanners, the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridges, is is, nonetheless, quite attractive in its own right, ten miles of causeway that gives the sensation of driving across the glittering surface of the bay itself, pelicans flapping alongside.

Ten miles without on and off ramps can make for smooth sailing, commute wise, the only worry being the speed cops hidden at center span, especially since I travel in the opposite direction from most bay area commuters, but occasionally the wind blows over a big rig, or a horrid accident blocks the span, and unwitting victims are left trapped for hours, rocked by the wind and hoping that the seismic activity on our local faults remains calm until the accident can be cleared.  For this reason the San Mateo bridge is affectionately nicknamed "the S&M bridge".

Almost a year ago we considered moving away from the bay area. I realized that I wanted to capture in pictures this mundane but yet special part of my daily routine. So I balnced my little point and shoot camera on the steerring wheel and took a few shots. Probably not very safe, but I was quite pleased with the results.

Readers, please drive with me from San Francisco to Hayward and back. And yes, it is almost always this sunny.

in the middle of the bridge, Hayward bound

Coming back again, passing a big truck and hoping it doesn't blow over!

Back into San Francisco, in a pod of priuses (or is that Prii?)