There’s palpable calm in the way the sun shines through the pier pillars at the beach or on a green worn down velvet couch hidden in a dark corner. The crashing of waves breaking against concrete supports or the harsh strumming of a guitar can bring a chaotic serenity to your life. Searching for a place to call your haven can be a tricky quest. I suppose I just got lucky because I have two reliable homes away from home. You’re suppose to feel safe and secure in these places, so the typical assumption is to stay close to home. But sometimes you find your haven miles out of your comfort zone.
Huntington Beach has been a second home to me for years. Big holidays and family gatherings are mainly bonfires. I’d stroll down Main Street with my siblings and window shop. (God knows everything sold on Main is over priced.) It wasn’t until I got older, I learned the beach didn’t have to be a planned excursion. I go there now just to take naps and listen to the world around me. I love the community environment of a beach. Strangers smile and wave at you as if you’ve known each other your entire lives. One of the best times to go is after it rains. The sand is compact like a natural concrete sidewalk. The beach itself is nearly void of all people and those who are present you can just sense hold this strip of paradise in the same high regards as you.
In contrast, the Santa Ana Art District also has quite a bit to offer me. My brother and I went to explore a little museum that was showcasing a hiking trail but we ended up in the Gypsy’s Den. The walls are covered in framed painting accompanied by bohemian rugs. The furniture consists of wooden book shelves, old fashioned mix matched chairs and a quaint piano. The piano rests upon a short stage that I was seated upon since the stage is only used Monday open mic nights. Every little detail drew me deeper into this hypnotic environment.