That’s it, pure providence is the only reason I’m here right now instead of at work. When I got sick a month ago and missed crew-up, my first fear was that I was going to miss Easter. For the Russian orthodox, Easter is the most important holy day of the year, and a more festive celebration than most people realize. So I wrote it off, until it started to look like I could actually make it. When it was clear that we were getting in on Saturday the nineteenth, I couldn’t believe my luck. At 3 pm eastern time yesterday I was getting off the Sentry in Jacksonville and heading for the airport, and after two flights with a connection in Charlotte, I landed in SFO at 10:40 pm. I took bart to the civic center and caught a cab on Market (my driver was from Belarus and orthodox as well, so we chatted in Russian on the drive to the outer Richmond) to my hotel room to change into a dress and then to church at half past midnight for the all-night service, which went until 4:30 in the morning. At five am mom and I returned to our hotel room for a nap until it will be time to get up again for noon mass and a day of parties. The sound of our footsteps echoing against the silence of the empty streets filled me with a kind of wonder – silence like this I haven’t heard in more than a month.
I couldn’t help thinking this is the most enchanting city I know as I showered off yet another cross-country flight and listened from my open window to the sparrows waking up full of song in Sutro Heights Park, watching the pale blue light of morning kiss the outlines of cypress and eucalyptus trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I made it, and today I don’t care about anything else.