Flowers for $25 | Mark Lindsay

For over a week we've woken here to a low-lying shroud of fog. In the hazy, first moment of waking I am confused. I am fooled into thinking that I'm opening my eyes as a young boy—and discovering a silent blanket of fresh snow out my window. I think I am five again.

Those were cold New Jersey mornings of wonder, youth and magic. The first sign of snowfall from the night before was a pearly incandescence that bathed my tiny, yellow bedroom. It glowed from behind a simple shade. I could barely wait to pull it down to activate its spring-loaded mechanism. Fwap, Fwap Fwap! It would roll up and white winter would await me.

The coast of Northern California has no such mornings, yet the inversion of late reminds me of it, just a little. It's a slightly depressing version of it, though the morning fog has its own beauty. It's my trained response that gets to me. My eyes open, I spring up snow. I get up and look in the mirror. No youth. It's a double hit.

Like the snow of my childhood, the fog has no color. The day starts in monochrome—which has me thinking of flowers and asparagus. I long for asparagus because, like the crocuses of New Jersey, they are the first sign of spring (here in California). I go to the January farmer's market and wait for the first asparagus. But right now, what I find, are flowers instead.

The radiance of the flowers warms me. Their colors are reduced to chalky pastel in the foggy light, but the subdued brilliance is all I need. They caress my post-holidays psyche. So, I've taken to photographing the market flowers. In black & white or color, they provide me with encouragement. And they'll do just fine until the asparagus arrives.