Sunday, May 6, 2007

Going Home

Thirty years after my family left the San Francisco Bay area, my friends and I dined in a glass-walled restaurant under a bright blue sky, with an uncluttered view of the sparkling Pacific. Satisfaction wrapped me like a warm blanket.

After lunch, we headed towards my old neighborhood outside Oakland, in suburban Walnut Creek. None of the streets or buildings looked remotely the same as my 12-year-old memory recalled. Only the old-growth trees on sun parched hills behind the houses remained similar, though larger.

I finally asked a neighborhood teenager, “Where is 273 Lombardi Circle? I lived there 30 years ago and we can’t find it.”

“That’s where I live. I bet my mom would let you see the whole house.” Half an hour later, we thanked the girl’s mother profusely for allowing me to revisit my childhood for a brief moment.

The next morning, our California counterpart took us to Half Moon Bay. Our feet sunk into lightly chilled sand as mist broke above the hillsides and low breakers sped toward the beach. After touring the tiny town, we turned our rented convertible towards the Golden Gate Bridge’s rust-red span.