I walked up Solano Avenue this afternoon, it’s familiar territory and close to the Berkeley Priory where I’m staying at the moment. It’s all Starbucks and up-market boutiques now; the thrift store has long gone. The sun was out, sea mist coming and going with a brisk wind blowing dampness off the bay. Solano starts in the City of Albany and ends in the Berkeley Hills. And up there among the houses is something quite remarkable. Indian Rock a rock climbers haven which, it would seem, has links to WW2 history.
But few people know about little Indian Rock, as I call it. Where The Alameda intersects Solano there’s a path threading its way between the houses leading to Indian Rock. Then take the first left off this path and a few houses down on the right there’s a huge rock. Big as a house. The developers just skipped a plot left the rock there and made a neighbourhood park. Few people know about it or use. I sat at roof height to rest awhile and take in the vista.
Gazing out across the bay to distant San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge swathed in sea fog and Alcatraz looming out of the grey is to be transported. It’s almost to fly, or at the very least to have some moments of high-up, wind-blown, airy repose.
Close to the top of Solano is Pegasus; a bookstore selling new and second hand books. I strolled through, more a pilgrim than paying customer. Ah Pegasus, the flying horse of the Muses a symbol of high-flying imagination.
It’s good to spend time with my monastic family and also to check-in here too, when I can. Like sending a postcard, with wings, not knowing where it will land or who will read it.