|Home -> Other California History Books -> Vignettes of San Francisco -> Golden Gate Park|
|Golden Gate Park
Enter slowly, by foot is much the better way, and join the long, loitering procession.
Black-green foliage, the curious old-green of trees that never wither and never resurrect. Something very foreign or is it San Francisco? Cubist effects of the horizontally-lined cypress, vertical lines of the eucalyptus, and the soft, down-dropping of the willow trees and pepper.
Women on the benches tatting, reading, resting. A retired Kansan widower passes, glances sidewise. Well, no harm in looking at a comely woman. Gossip of mothers over baby carriages, "Only nine months old! Mine is a year. Well, we think he's pretty fine."
Comes the sight-seeing bus. Blare of the megaphone. "Seventeen miles of driveway, boost, boast, greatest in the world."
All day long the swings are swinging, rhythmic, slow to the touch of loving hands. Then at night when all is still and dark, they go on swinging dream children, rhythmic, slow.
Down the slide into the soft sand. Grandpa tending Nellie's children: "Careful there." Ding, ding like the sound of a temple bell the whirling, dizzy iron rings clang against their iron pole. Tramp of the patient little burros. "Mother, I want another cone."
Bum-ti-bum, too-too-too, ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-tahh, the band. Wagner by request. Music lovers in the crowd. A symphony orchestra is very fine, but simple people like ourselves, we also love a band.
I've never been to Japan, but this must be the way it looks. Tinkle of the wind bells, petals of Cherry floating down. Sorry, but I've used the last of the films. Well, we'll come again.
The bears, the big brown grizzlies, leave them now. Out, what is this! Fairyland of flowers and fragrance. Bears and orchids, wise planned contrast.
People with accumulative minds wander through the museum, very interesting, "Just look at this mosaic, John." Exhibit of modern art in the gallery. "Portrait of a girl," only a daub to the wayfaring man,
Lovers in secluded places stealing a kiss, caught by the middle-aged. "Silly young things," wistfully.
Once all parks were private grounds. Free now to the poorest serf. Well, there's something century-gained. Some people say the world's growing worse all the time. Perhaps, perhaps. . . .
Who cares. Lying flat on your back close to the smell of the earth, the great kind mother. Up, up at the sky, how deep, how blue. Is there a God? There must be Something; look at each perfect blade of grass. An airplane across the blue. There's something gained.
Automobiles in stately procession proud as horses ever were. Automobiles proudly rolling, swings swinging, people passing, and the swimming of all the water fowls, the swans, the Japanese ducks and the little mud hens. Infinitude of movement, infinitude of life, ineffable beauty. There must be a God. There must be Something back of it all.