Today felt like the first day of summer in two years.
I underestimated the intensity of the heat wave and decided to go for a three mile stroll from our home to Malaga Cove. But it was glorious. It felt like the first day of summer in two years. In a way, it was better than summer, because it was hot and clear. People know that the real summer in the South Bay is roughly from late August through early December, because from May through July we are affected by the phenomenon known as May Grey, June Gloom, No-Sky July, occasionally Fogust… I said affected, and not plagued, as there are many different sensibilities as to whether this cool, grey mantle should be suffered or enjoyed.
But today, it was not only meteorologically summer. It felt like the first day of summer in two years because there was so much joy. I don’t want to speculate on the nature of this joy, I want to take it at face value. It felt like the first safe day of summer. Smiles on every faces. Hugs. Games. Splashes. Closeness. Un-distancing. The Sun had a name and their name was Together.
When I set off I almost put my earbuds on. I wanted some fresh and salty summer tunes: Mungo Gerry, Kid Rock, Jimmy Buffett, even some Macarena and JLo. But then I was glad I did not, because the sounds of the busy shores were the best accompaniment I could have hoped for.
Every ramp was an invitation to Summer.
The LA County Lifeguard tower at Burnout shone with vibrant exuberance. You could tell they were happy. Busy, sure. A little worried, as well, because there was a lot of humanity to look after down there. But there was a certain satisfaction: joy was the modality of their dutiful care.
I finished my walk, I lost track of time, of the distance, of the temperature. But not of the praise, almost the joint prayer that was coming from it all. The People, the Living, the Elements.
As I climbed to Malaga cove, I wanted to make sure that the Land was feeling this joy as much as the Ocean and the Shore.
The Land felt it as well.
All photos were shot with a Fujifilm GFX 50S II medium format camera, and a 35-70mm lens. I had two more cameras with me but this felt like the most appropriate. Even thought I think that the trash bins on the beach are an eyesore, they are such a necessary eyesore that I find it morally problematic to Photoshop them way: go for a stroll on the beach after a storm or a rough see and the amount of trash will just make you weep. As usual, all images are available for purchase as prints on different media.
2 thoughts on “Scenes from the First Day of Summer”
Thank you for writing and sharing this. I have long enjoyed your wonderful photos, but I enjoy your writing as well.
I was at RB:Torrance Beach this morning as well. L Such a great day! Thanks for the beautiful pics! Would love to go on a photo shoot with you sometime. 🙂