Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter at Venice Beach

As Easter approaches, signs of rebirth abound at Venice Beach. On our walk to the beach down Catamaran Lane, the wildflowers along the path are starting to bloom, a profusion of colors and textures. Al, one of the residents with whom we have become acquainted over the past 9 months, has planted a very nice courtyard garden. His star jewel is called a Desert Orchid:

This photo is of one of the earliest and smallest blossoms. Al has pointed out that the big blooms have yet to blossom. When they do, Al's courtyard should be awash in shades of brilliant pink, purple and red.

The weather has been a little tricky these past few days. Each morning begins with completely grey skies, looking as if it is sure to rain. By early afternoon, however, the skies have begun to clear and patches of blue are showing. And, in fact, over the past three days, each time we have reached the beach the skies have completely cleared and the sun is shining. The air is still a bit chilly so I still wear long pants, as does Alma. But yesterday the sun had shown long enough that Alma could remove her shoes and walk barefoot in the sand the entirety of the 3-mile walk.

In keeping with the season of rebirth, the beach seems pristine right now. All the garbage and detritus we normally expect to see on our walks has seemingly miraculously vanished from the beach, leaving only clean sand upon which to walk. Alma has mixed feelings about this, as she looks to the beach to deliver materials for her art. Right now she has containers full of each type of sea shell she needs for her upcoming projects. In fact, there is an irony at play. Alma is trying to finish up a giant beach flower whose petals are covered in plastic bottle caps. She needs only a few more small red ones to complete the work but, because the beaches are so clean lately, finds at most one or two on each walk.

The clean sands allow for various impromptu beach art to occur:

This is a peace sign we encountered already drawn out on the beach yesterday. We also saw a beautiful sand scuplture of a sea tortoise, complete with scaly back. Unfortunately, glare from the sun interfered with Alma's picture of it, so I cannot display it here.

Alma has been hard at work on Easter-themed art as well. Below is a detailed picture of an egg she sculpted from Celluclay and hand-painted for her friend Margie:

Alma has done at least 2 dozen of these eggs. Some have faces and others just pretty designs or, as you will see below, letters of the alphabet. The eggs have definitely brightened up our place quite nicely, adding a touch of brilliant spring color to the place.

Even though neither of us are particularly religious, we would like to wish my readers a Happy Easter weekend, no matter what your particular religious persuasion. May spring bloom in your hearts and on your hearths this year. And may you experience a rebirth of your spirits.

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