Carrizo plains saw a lot of tourists this season, thanks to California storms that quenched our thirsty soils and watered the lands.
And in the last couple of weeks, it’s seen a lot of trampled flower heads, which is a little frustrating. Not that I didn’t trample a few myself from the overwhelming excitement of being thrown into an endless sea of bobbing yellow heads.
I was a kid on Christmas morning. Squirming in the passenger seat, nose pressed against the window, fogging up the glass. I was worse than the dogs.
We found a place to park and I don’t know what was brighter, the sunshine or my face. All I know is that the warmth of a place like this is contagious. It made me want to giggle. To laugh. To lie down in the fields and relish in the feeling of the dirt against my back, the vision of the flowers casting shadows on my face.
It was so bright. The thousand glimmering rays of sun reflecting off the mirrored, yellowed faces of the flowers. It’s the kind of paradise you never want to leave. The kind of magic you want lingering deeply in your soul. The kind of energy reserved only for places such as this, where the boundaries of imaginations are stretched far beyond their limitations.
It’s the kind of place that makes you feel like you can fly. Spread your arms and take the plunge and drift above the fields, warm winds brushing up against your skin, soft caresses of a summer day.
An isolated little corner of the world, untouched by darkened shadows of reality. Things are good here. They are perfect. They lack the toxic tint of human touch that infiltrates a land just beyond the rising slope of a painted, rolling landscape.
What is it about flowers? Even the greatest imperfection on the torn, velvet lining of a leaf inspires in me a wonder unmatched by any other. There is nothing I love more than the halo of these budding blooms around my face. Tuck one behind your ear and you are transformed into the goddess of the sun, fierce and flaming, igniting everything you touch with all the passion of this world.
Perhaps their magic lies in color. In the way a rising sun is painted on their faces, beside the cool, crisp hues of a dying day.
Perhaps it lies in their touch, like satin on the roughened grooves of skin.
Perhaps it lies in their smell, a perfume never captured in the confines of a small, glass vial. A scent that breathes life into scorched lungs, that invigorates the mind and enlivens the soul.
They tell the stories of the greatest loves, and the greatest losses. Clipped and arranged neatly in the chamber of a crystal vase they whisper secrets to an empty hall. But when they are alive, still growing in the rich soils of the earth, they don’t whisper. They sing. And in their songs lie all the things that ever needed knowing, all the peace we ever need to feel.