When I think back to my trip to San Francisco in January, I keep thinking of a particular observation and memory. No, it wasn’t the West Coast Walk for Life that I was part of nor the list of churches I visited and went to Mass at. No, not even the times I got yelled at and middle fingered at for being part of the Walk. No, it wasn’t even the gathering of the Women’s March that same day. Nor the sushirritos I saw, but never consumed, or the many Pokéstops I activated.
Back in January, I went to San Francisco for the weekend. It was a pilgrimage (of course!) with the primary intention of participating in the West Coast Walk for Life because I wasn’t able to participate in this year’s March for Life in Washington, DC. Awesome weekend, awesome Walk.
These days, months later, one particular memory and observation keeps popping up in my head.
I had gone to an Extraordinary Form Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi after the Walk. It finished late in the evening so it was already dark outside. On top of that, it was raining. I hurried over to the Hilton Union Square where I had left my big bag to pick it up. I then made my way to the nearest BART station to take the train all the way back towards the airport to check into the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront (#HiltonHopping for the points!!!). Honestly, I was in a hurry because I was paranoid of my safety since I wasn’t in Japan, and I wasn’t sure what San Fransiscoans are like.
During that train ride, I was pretty tired from speed walking through the main parts of San Francisco in the rain. I couldn’t help but people-watch on the BART because I didn’t feel like doing much else as my phone’s batteries were low. Also, we were pretty packed on the train.
From where I was standing, over to my right were a group of young women busily checking their social media feeds on their phones as I’m fairly certain they had participated in the Women’s March, which had just recently finished (it was after the Walk for Life). Nothing out of the ordinary or interesting.
Over to my left, I noticed a variety of people either on their phones or talking to others within their party. Also not that exciting. However, at the back of the car in that direction, I noticed a young family–mom, dad, and their toddler daughter. For several stops, I noticed that the dad would cover his ears and showing his daughter to do the same because the BART train kind of screeches when it slows down before a stop. Ok. A little interesting.
As we got closer and closer to the airport, my particular BART car started getting emptier and emptier. When it was empty enough to move about the car, the dad took his daughter up to the BART map by the doors. He was trying to teach her, I guess, about the train and where it goes judging from his pointing at the map and spoken words-that-I-couldn’t-quite-hear.
I couldn’t help but notice this because most everyone on the train, by now, were keeping to themselves on their phones. Women’s Marchers still engrossed in their news feeds. The only interactions I saw between two human beings on this train, in person, were this dad teaching his daughter about the BART train.
I guess these observations of the dad with his daughter on the BART stick out to me because it was such a simple, but awesome, example of a father’s tenderly love for his daughter. I appreciate and admire his patience and desire to teach because of the love he has for his daughter. Manly virtues, for sure, that I can learn from by his example.
As I’m constantly on a quest trying to be the man God created me to be, it’s beautiful to witness these kinds of moments. That’s the thing about me and traveling. I don’t travel to escape. I travel with intent in order to be open to whatever lessons I may learn during the journey while traveling.
BART Train // BART.gov