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The Bay on Sunday Morning

Perhaps to go to Fort Mason on a sunny Sunday morning, that beautiful relaxed moment of the whole week, and there to sit with others who have no autos to go gallivanting in, and to sit idly gazing off at the bay. That's not bad. To read a little and doze a bit, but mostly to gaze out to sea and dream.

A big foreign steamer in port, perhaps a Scandinavian boat, inert, enormous, helpless, while the little tugs chatter, around it and finally get hold of it, and tug it slowly around with its nose pointing out to sea. Lumber schooners come in slowly and rhythmically, long and low and clean. The Vallejo boat, looking like a rocking horse, goes importantly chugging off toward Mare Island. It's hard to read a book with so going on out there.

Sunday morning, blessed play time, there is a fellow in a green canoe, and the muscles of his body play into the movement of the waves until he and his green canoe and the white capped waves are all one motif of the whole symphony. Men play around the yacht club like a lot of school boys, and now - "Shoot," they push a long slim racer into the water. Dainty white yachts go dipping to the waves and seem like lovely young girls in among the sturdier boats.

Now the fishermen come in from their night's work, making music all in an orderly procession, and every boat of them a brilliant blue inside. I'd like to catch a Maine fisherman allowing color in his boat, like a "dago" or a "wop."

Over all the swing and dip and rhythm of the sea gulls. How beautifully they accent the movement of the symphony, like the baton of some great leader - this great beautiful Sunday morning symphony.

Then there is Alcatraz. Oh, Alcatraz, why should they have placed a prison there as a monument to men's failure to order their lives in harmony with nature. Alcatraz, most beautiful island in the most beautiful bay, you sound an ugly, sinister, most unhappy undertone in the morning's symphony.

Still it is a symphony. A symphony of San Francisco Bay. Why shouldn't the composers put it into music. We're sick of the song of the huntsman by the brasses, the strings and the wood instruments. With Whitman we exclaim: "Come, Muse, migrate from Aeonia," and come out here to the West, and conserve the symphony of the bay which is already composed and waiting.

And for the argument, the overture, the prelude, there could be a sailing schooner with sails all set coming into the Golden Gate, in the full brilliant sunlight, or mysteriously through a fog, or against a sunset sky. It should be "full and by" like that beautiful painting by Coulter in the stock exchange of the Merchants' Building.

Symphony of San Francisco Bay, boom of fog horns, calls and answers of the ferries, chug of the fishermen's boats, twink of lights in the harbor at night, rhythm of sea gulls, and the brooding fog to soften it all. "Come, Muse, migrate from Aeonia."

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