The Legend of La Jolla’s Coastal Potholes
During times when bleached white clouds conquered the sky, stealing all essence of hope and glory, storing it way up high, La Jolla, California’s future was looking a gloomy, grey hue
Caelum, the sky god, was the mastermind behind this, his constant angry emotions causing the sky’s depressed colour. For what seemed like years, Caelum’s ferocious, obstinate attitude had frightened any visitors or gods from taking home to La Jolla, until Terra, the earth god, stepped up to the challenge.
Mere seconds went by before the selfish Caelum realised he had company. Terra had quickly settled down creating a ground.
“What are you doing in my land!” Belted Caelum.
“Well actually, your land is in the sky and mine is on the ground so I’m not on your land,” replied Terra, matter-of-factly.
“You have no right to be here!”
“Well actually, we live in a free society so, you know, I do have my rights.”
“Oh no you didn’t!”
“Well actually, it states in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (summary version) number fifteen (and before you ask, god rights are the same as human rights): we all have a right to belong to a country.”
“You can enter the country but not La Jolla.”
“Well actually, it states in number thirteen: we all have a right to go where we want in our own country and travel abroad if we wish.”
Caelum was furious for Terra did not seem afraid of him like all others, so he schemed to destroy him.
“Okay, you can stay here,” replied Caelum.
He racked his brain for the most extravagant idea to harm Terra. Hmm… Shoot him with a shotgun? No, too messy. Strangle him? No, too suspicious. Chuck him out a window? Now we’re getting there but where’s the window? Something triggered an idea in Caelum’s mind, he would drain water from the sky and make a sea which would drown Terra.
So Caelum went on his mission, gathering his power, preparing to target a strong blow to Terra. The full moon gradually lightened itself up into the sky, singing its night tune, providing Caelum with rest to prepare him for the day he believed would become historical in years to come.
Daytime had approached, waking Caelum early for his big day. He used his power and grunted. Slowly water was leaking from the sky, flooding and drowning the innocent Terra who was bounded to the Earth. Before long, Terra was sunken underwater and put to rest.
Caelum was jubilant and victorious but soon realised that there was no longer a ground; it was surrounded by water, the La Jolla sea on Hospitals reef. Fascinated by such an occurrence, Caelum hurled himself to the sea that he deemed his because it was sourced from his sky.
Splaying his hands, Caelum dug his hands into Terra’s face, evilly laughing while Terra lay lifeless, his blood filling the holes Caelum had made. Experiencing a great deal of pleasure from his actions, Caelum continued until Terra (the equivalent of the whole land) was completely covered in holes. As the holes developed and filled with blood, Caelum spat in each and every one to prove that he owned Terra.
Following much effort, Caelum relaxed in his La Jolla sea, admiring his work on Terra. Rocking back and forth, Caelum created waves that danced against the many holes in Terra.
“Hah,”scoffed Caelum “I can see right through you!”
Gradually, on a level invisible to the naked eye, the holes enlarged because of Caelum’s waves. They were like tadpoles transforming into frogs; their size doubled making them one to two hands long in diameter!
For the time being, Caelum believed that his work was done so he returned to his home in the bleached white sky. Satisfied with his achievement , Caelum drifted off to a peaceful sleep.
Daytime had arrived again and Caelum travelled down to his sea but something had changed. The holes were an array of colours resembling an artist’s paint tray or the like. Mesmerised by his own work, Caelum travelled closer. ‘Wow!’ Caelum was in awe until he thought of a possibility. Was Terra alive again? As he thought of this he grew angry and when he looked down, the holes were a darker colour. When he began to calm down, they became lighter!
Being the obstinate god he was, Caelum convinced himself it was an illusion or something playing with his mind but deep down he knew it wasn’t. The holes resembled his feelings, half because he spat in them; half because the sky also showed his feelings and they reflected onto the holes, though Caelum seemed not to care as his plan was a success, Terra was no longer free.
To this day, Caelum still lives in the sky but allows intruders (holidayers) to examine his coastal potholes, though they are not aware of the story behind them let alone his presence! So come to Hospitals Reef in La Jolla, California to see the result of the pain inflicted on Terra: the holes that have been dug into history. What mood will Caelum be in?
This is the legend of La Jolla’s coastal potholes.
-E Wen Wong, 2014