For years I’ve kept a log of “small world” occurrences. These are the events you witness that seem unlikely to the point of absurdity. Connections between disparate people in your life, one-in-a-million-trillion chance circumstances. I started this list after the following occurrence.

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Medium is full of stories that go like this:

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In another time, my friends at 18 would’ve remained close for life; close to my heart, close at hand. But we were born to the generation that fled from safety; we sought something bigger than our quaint origins and called it destiny.

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I’m standing on a rock overlooking the ocean, just south of Jenner on Highway 1. The sun is setting, painting the type of picture you feel honored to witness. I spent this day, and the one before it, taking part in an act as ageless as watching the sky at dusk: climbing up rocks. And while rope and harnesses give us measurable added comfort as compared to our long ago kin, the fascination and simplicity have gone unchanged.

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I’ve only just now reentered my apartment after its evacuation earlier tonight. The house next to ours, and the one next to it, caught fire. A “three alarm fire”, dozens of emergency response vehicles lining the blocks surrounding Lyon and Fulton Street. Flames leaping out the top of the house. Almost 50 people displaced, even after the fire was contained and extinguished. And as I fall asleep, tired and satisfied after a beautiful day outside bouldering, scrambling up rocks made a million years before, I marvel also at the sobering effect of seeing fire so easily destroy things that humans built.

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