It seems that each year I get a chance to trot out the line ‘rough winds do shake the darling buds of February’, which amuses me, if nobody else, and this year is no exception. After the balmy weather of the weekend, the winds picked up on Tuesday, and the rain finally skidded in on Wednesday – the skies were full of fat, fast-moving clouds, getting darker as the morning went on.
By the time I went for a run, around four o’clock, there was the faintest of drizzles. As part of planning some future Roaming Zen destinations, I wanted to investigate Mount Davidson. I have ridden my bike up one side of it – a slope as ferocious as anything in the city; when I first came to the bottom of the road, not being able to see the top put the fear of god in me, and that feeling has stayed with me every time I try that climb, something I only attempt when I am feeling fully fit.
I approached from Glen Canyon, which I am still learning my way around, and then up the quiet streets on the north side of the woods. Once in the woods, the paths seemed to meander, but I worked my way up to the giant cross, and then over to where the hill abutted to the south, with incredible views of the rain clouds lowering over from Colma and San Bruno Mountain.
For the return leg, I tackled Twin Peaks from the reverse side to my recent efforts. Only the wet and noisy ravens for company this time, and suddenly an amazing opening of the city before me – the tall buildings downtown seemed to be dissolving into a spectral mist, while amid all kinds of shifting colours in the sky, the straight line of lights along Market far below shone with a pale glow. I was completely exhilarated to have witnessed this, even as I negotiated the steep staircases down to my valley floor with tired legs.
Perhaps I was still feeling the endorphins the next day, as I was enthused enough to go out again, which is not my usual pattern. Perhaps it was knowing I would be spending most of the weekend indoors. This time I worked my way to the summit of Mount Sutro, where I was delighted to find the first flowering lupins of the year. Descending the cooler shaded gullies, which I first explored about a year ago, I found them, as then, filled with birds and white blossoms. Coming out onto 17th Street and heading slowly up to the crest, there was the waxing moon, straight ahead.
High winds on Tuesday were the harbinger of rain on Wednesday. I do wish I had been able to photograph the light on Twin Peaks