Views Old and New
As I look past branches toward the blue Pacific from a San Francisco hilltop, I see the Golden Gate Bridge and the twin towers of St. Ignatius Church.
When the Mount Olympus hilltop monument was created, there were no trees, no houses, no church towers, and no bridge. At its dedication in 1887, it stood on a bare hill with 360-degree views of a barely developed San Francisco, the geographic center of the city.
Houses and buildings mushroomed over the years, filling in what was once empty space. It must have been astounding to see the Golden Gate Bridge extending across the entryway to the San Francisco Bay when it opened in 1937.
Where a statue once rose proudly from its pedestal—starkly outlined against the sky—there is now a statue-less base surrounded by trees that partially obstruct the view in all directions. The sky, the ocean, and the Marin Headlands are all still visible despite the cluttered foreground. Views can change remarkably over time while allowing the original background to remain.
The basic values we learn as children become our foundation for looking at life. I’m grateful that my parents instilled elements like kindness, consideration of others, and the power of truth and goodness in me and my brothers from our earliest days. Though years of life experience have caused my view of the world to evolve, the power of those ever-present core items is a comfort. May the foundation we established early on allow us to keep walking forward even through dark times.
This week’s Hike Notes, Mount Olympus-Monument Way Stairs, introduces one of San Francisco’s many interesting stair walks, this one leading to views that include the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Hike Notes 154: Mount Olympus-Monument Way Stairs
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