Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Although I work in Hayward on a major fault line, I didn't visit the cemetary. Instead, I stopped by the Cypress memorial on Mandela Parkway.
I usually drive on Mandela half-aware that the manicured paved walkway in the center island was where my father had his last breaths. I know, but rarely reflect on it. There's now a memorial park there, and in a large font on the fence reads "15 seconds", which is how long the earth shook, how long it took to take him away.
It took me a few drive-bys to realize this, that 15 seconds stood for that. That in 15 seconds the earth shook and turned concrete into pebbles and dust. Twisted metal reaches for the sky to symbolize whatever we want to get from it.
So last night, I paid my respects and stopped at the memorial, got out of the car, lit the flame, and found this on the concrete:
I want to go back in the day.
Then later that night, I saw this on the concrete:
Love the earth. Even if it's concrete.