Photo by Hannah Sans.

Roots Before Branches

Contributor
School of Medicine

Within just 2 miles of my Sunset neighborhood home, I can explore the eerie and often fog-ridden greenery of Mount Sutro, stop and smell the roses of Golden Gate Park, ride the now iconic SkyStar Wheel, curl sand between my toes at Ocean Beach, catch the warm hues of sunset from Grand View Park, and admire the bustling twinkle of city lights from Twin Peaks. Every time I step outside, I feel immensely grateful to be a San Francisco local.

This image is from the Garden for the Environment, one of many community gardens throughout the city and one which I like to stroll through on my way to and from the Parnassus campus. Halfway through medical school, I am beginning to feel wistful at the thought of leaving this city for residency.

I’ve made plenty of fond memories here, from scenic hikes at Lands End, Muir Woods, and the Marin Headlands, to local day trips at the SF Zoo, Fort Funston, and Half Moon Bay. And I am still searching for and finding new nearby adventures all the time.

Born and raised here, I will miss the Bay Area if medicine calls me elsewhere. I imagine this tree did not foresee its final height and breadth as a seedling, though, and there are countless directions to follow, choices to make, on the signpost of our lives. We all start with roots before branches. 

So for now, I will soak in the sights and grow diligently before branching out into the exciting unknown of the future.