A few weeks ago I was going into work very, very early every day. Too, too early. I’d arrive already exhausted at six o’clock in a big, dark, empty office and labor away for 90 minutes or so on my own. It was quite depressing, so whenever I finished my morning shift, I’d take a walk through the streets of San Francisco as the city woke up.

One morning I walked from my office to Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, which took about 30 minutes. I was really feeling sorry for myself, and had forgotten that sweet Buddhist lesson:

“Sometimes I go about in great pity for myself, and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the face of the world.”

Climbing the boardwalk stairs up the hill towards the tower, I passed underbeneath (as my son would put it) a blooming princess tree, which had rained its delicate purple petals onto the ground. Seeing this tiny, lovely bit of color and the complex, sublime reflections in the water pooled on it snapped me out of my funk.

To remember, I snapped a picture of it.

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