Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sun Spots

I recently spent some time in Solana Beach, just north of San Diego. What a fine break it was from the freeze of my town's January. My daughter and I walked in the sun, sat in the sun, soaked in the sun, reclined in the sun. She said we were in full lizard mode and I agree.

It felt so good, letting the warm rays wrap around limbs that have been cloistered in fleece and denim for months. We both tossed good judgment aside and let the sun toast our albino skin to bright pink. The "farmer tan" and swimsuit lines were proudly flaunted for a couple of days.

I really liked the intense colors of Solana Beach, particularly the brilliant whites, deep blues and crazy oranges in the area's nonstop sun. So festive, so goofy, so energizing. One neighborhood we walked through had delightful tile artwork along the street. A long tiled landscape in startling colors graced the front of one home. Another home integrated a wavey mosaic along the streetside fence. Shells and glass merged with blue tile in a carnival of color and light that ran all along the width of the home's lot. White stucco houses provided stunning backdrops for bronzed hardware (like a door's gargoyle), raggedy palm fronds, and brilliant tropical flowers. The reptilian blooms of the bird of paradise plant made me giggle, with their crazy spears of bright orange jousting from a purply core.

A few days in that marine sun was probably enough for us. My daughter and I both agreed that, as lovely as the climate and setting are, we prefer our own spots. She savors the soft, green moisture of the Pacific Northwest and I enjoy the intense span of temperature and season offered by my home in the high desert. She made the comment that there was too much sun for her in this seaside town. I thought about that as I flew home. For decades, I've wanted to live in Crete, to perch in a stuccoed white home atop dark rock, peering down at azure sea and up at azure sky. But I'm thinking now that I would only like that sharply contrasted setting for awhile. I'm thinking that maybe my daughter's observation about overabundant sun might temper my enjoyment.

I think I'll savor the sunnied brilliance of my sunroom today, knowing full well that dark grey days will soon come along to provide some vivid contrast. I think I'll enjoy my home's special sun spot, knowing that its presence is fleeting this time of year.

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