I remember flying home from London this past summer into the San Francisco International Airport at dusk. The lights of the city shone and the bay glistened, welcoming me home. As I frantically tried to search for my house among the neighborhoods a warm fuzzy feeling grew in my heart.
As much fun as I had vacationing with my family, I was so glad to be back. I found myself reflecting when I was 5,342 miles away how, although London was a beautiful and a historic city, I don’t think I would really want to live there. After all, there is no place like home.
This was reinforced this past weekend when I decided to take advantage of my less weekend dose of homework, and went down to the Salsa Festival with friends in downtown Redwood City.
I really had no idea what a “Salsa Festival” was. I figured there would be salsa, because it’s in the name, but I really had no idea what else. I guess I was in one of my adventurous moods.
Anyway, as soon as I hit Theatre Way, I heard brilliant music. A trumpet solo and a jazz beat were all it took for me to tap my feet and begin dancing.
My friends begged me to restrain.
As we continued into the festivities, we tasted salsa, looked at what the vendors were selling, said a brief hello to familiar faces, took pictures, chatted, listened to more music, and sat down to take a breath and relax our feet.
I looked around. Ninety five percent of these people I had never seen before. They were dancing, laughing, and mingling. They all shared the same community I did. It didn’t matter that they were strangers as I began to realize that we were very much alike.
We went to the same movie theatre and probably saw the same movies. We waited in the same lines at Chipotle and tried the same dishes at La Tartine. We were served by the same people at Milagros and Margaritas and were all buzzing about the new Five Guys on the corner. It didn’t matter that we’d never spoken a word to each other, but somehow, together, we all make up this community.
After all, without the people, the city wouldn’t have any purpose.
I don’t know how my life would be different if I lived somewhere else. In a different city, a different state, or even a different country. But I do know this. I’m glad that I live here. I’m glad that I get to call this city my home.
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