Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Subtlety of Spring in Southern California

For those who live in cold climates, spring warms the soul with a ray of yellow light, the unfurling of a tight bud, the crinkly flip of a calendar page, and the return of chirping birds. As a resident of Coronado, I'm often asked what it's like to live "without seasons."

It's true that Southern Californians don't wear snow boots. We don't often see our breath when we leave the house in the morning, and we rarely use wool blankets. We certainly don't chip ice off our windshields or shovel mounds of white. But we learn to notice subtle changes in the tender passage between winter and spring.

To us, spring is the prologue to summer. It's a season that slides downhill with sprinkles of slick rain and longer days. We get the urge to walk in growing gardens amid thickets of color that divide and flourish.

Beautiful Balboa Park
(Awesomely amateur photo credit: Carrie Keyes)
Soon, I'll be participating in the Coronado Flower Show, an eighty-six year old civic tradition. In fact, I'm querying prestigious magazines to gauge their interest in having me write about the colorful event. The flower show smacks of spring, right?

But spring, to me, is also the promise of popsicles and a nautical opening day. It's smelling your neighbor's dinner because you've both left the windows open past five o'clock.  It's the frantic search for the golden egg and the itch to get to Disneyland before the crowds swell. It's the season where the kids' clothes become too small, the San Diego Zoo babies frolic in furry delight, and the angle of the morning sun shifts its focus. Spring is the season of daily duo outfits: jeans in the brisk morning and shorts in the afternoon. It's the time where you can feel yourself sitting in the sun a few moments longer than necessary until your nose gets pink and your soul stretches and rises up like the daisies.

Daisies Rising Behind a Bench: Balboa Park
(Awesomely amateur photo credit: Carrie Keyes)
No, we don't see the snow melt. But however slight, Southern Californians feel winter slough off, and we welcome the subtlety of spring.

*The You Tube song of the week is "Seasons of Love" from the Broadway hit RENT.
* San Diego's Balboa Park is beautiful every day of the year.
* Sunset Magazine is my favorite springtime indulgence. Buy an issue and soak up the sun.
*Are your flowers planted? I'm freaking out! The Coronado Flower Show is April 16 and 17. Blogger needs to get a move-on and hit the sandy soil.
* What do you like best about spring? Tell me, silly.


  1. Very nice - we SoCal natives do have our own clues to the season. I always enjoy the Alcazar Gardens in Balboa Park. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This picture of the tiled bench is absolutely beautiful, I would love to sit there and sip on a coffee in the sunshine :)