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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Mobile
Calla Lily Pacific Street Santa Monica

I live 7 lucky blocks from the beach and I try to go down to the ocean every day. The Calla Lilies bloom on this street corner every year, just as they are blooming now. On the day I took this picture, I set out rather late, after an afternoon rain. The time stamp says 5:31. It was already getting dark. It was clear to me that this one had just opened that day. It veritably glowed among the dark leaves and still had the drops of rain from earlier that afternoon. It took my breath away! There is something transcendent, perfect, pure and fleeting about this particular Lily, which captured not only the antecedent myth of its origin, its symbolism of triumph and rebirth, but also (to me) what it means to be alive for one fleeting perfect moment in the tumult of the cosmos. Every time I look at this picture, I can still smell the rain and wet earth.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2017
Date Uploaded: 04.2018
Photo Location: Santa Monica, California, United States of America
Camera: iPhone 6s
Copyright: © Mara Sternthal