Most people assume everywhere in California has amazingly phenomenal warm weather year-round, but my first two weeks here prove otherwise. In the the morning in San Diego, at times there’s a light mist that blankets the air; it’s like wisps of a spiderweb that I could part with my fingers and the webs would tickle my fingertips. The clouds hang a faint grey in the sky and the air is cold. When the dampness clears, I can see the sun glistening through. It’s not like a heat wave beating on you, it’s more like a shaft of gentle light breaking through the clouds. At times I can feel the wind through the open door at work and I smell fresh rain or feel cool air creep up my arms.
Everyone refers to this time in San Diego as “May and June Gloom,” and in order to brighten my perspective, I head to the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. With what some friends affectionately refer to as my “Asian tourist camera,” a water bottle, and a piece of paper with hand written directions I head North. As I manage my way through the labyrinth of the San Diego freeways, I keep my eyes forward. It’s very hard not to be distracted by this elaborate obstacle course of bridges and overpasses. Eventually, I see an array of colors and know where my exit is.
The Flower Fields are immediately a feast of visual beauty. I feel as thought I’m looking at an impressionist painting with all of the vibrant colors brilliantly melting and blending together, yet remaining distinct and separate. I sometimes feel like the oddly colored flower in the rows of perfectly divided flowers. I see a peachy-yellow flower in between the yellow and orange, in between just like me; there’s two obvious sides and I don’t belong exclusively to either one. I am a blend, a hybrid of the yellow and orange, and I can stand between the two sides and see both points of view. Such a life is interesting for I struggle to fit in, yet I am just as happy to be independent and see beyond one viewpoint. Perhaps I can’t help but feel this way because I have never fit in and probably never will. But what’s the point in worrying, really?
My favorite part of any garden is to look closely at flowers for water droplets. I am intrigued to see such things in detail. It fascinates me that so much can depend on something so small. I often find comfort in seeking that which others overlook, for you never know what kind of beauty you will find.
My next journey is to a beach. I remember seeing signs for South Carlsbad State Beach, and having been in search for an ocean, I follow the roads, and I can already hear water hitting the rocks. Excitedly, I park my car in the nearest spot and find a pathway to the water below. I walk past campsites and down a wooden staircase to a rocky shore. I love the ocean rushing and crashing on the beach; the sound of the waves brings me a sense of calmness in my veins. It’s as if the waves are trying to chase my thoughts and pull them into the ocean. When I used to go to the ocean, I would be soaked from head to toe. Some of this was the cause of my own curiosity to get closer to the water, but other times the water caught me by surprise. Even as I walk along the shore, the water seems drawn to me and creeps up the shore with each wave. It doesn’t have much time as my time here comes closer to the end.
Along the shore, my eye catches a bird waiting for the waves. My first instinct is to chase him with my camera, but he must be able to sense my approach and eagerness for a snapshot, for he flies away. Based on my past experience with the ocean I know better than to pursue him, but he lands softly on the pebbly beach only a few feet away from me. I patiently wait as he stops and looks out at the ocean once more. I quickly aim my camera at him and snap his picture, just in time before he soars into the air and I am no longer able to capture him. His departure is my signal to leave, because although I would love to stay here, like my purple hair that has now faded to orange, nothing can stay forever.