Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Blue Zones

"I reside in a zone the color of May and murky beach water"

Published onSep 24, 2023
Blue Zones

Photo by Huy Phan:

Who’s responsible for giving these places with the
highest population of centenarians such a misleading

name? Longevity doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness,
so it’s possible these spots christened this color match

an azure sense of life. But I’m willing to bet these
areas where a scientifically studied healthy diet and

robust sense of community and purpose reflect lives
infused with quantity AND quality, so perhaps Golden

Grounds or Mellowist Yellowist Sectors are more apt names
where each glows like a pocket of phosphorous citizens

knowing the odds of them seeing one hundred is as
great as the divide between dying young and living ten

full decades. In a recent sermon, my pastor asked the
congregation if we’d like to know everything that would

happen to us before it occurred so we could prepare
and I whispered, Naw, man, because who wants to spend

their life worrying about what’s to come when what’s
already here provides enough to test the faith of even

the most devout. Noah spent 75 years building the ark,
and Moses wandered 40 years in the desert and there’s

so much to be said for surviving the famines and floods
we confused with falsehoods and mirages. I reside in a

zone the color of May and murky beach water, where
the morning fog distorts my vision and the kelp cradles

my ankles as if taking census of those of us who live
on blessings and borrowed time.

Daniel Romo is the author of Bum Knees and Grieving Sunsets (FlowerSong Press 2023), Moonlighting as an Avalanche (Tebot Bach 2021), Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press 2019), When Kerosene’s Involved (Mojave River Press 2014), and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press 2013). His writing and photography can be found in The Los Angeles Review, PANK, Yemassee, Hotel Amerika, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. He received an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and he lives, teaches, and rides his bikes in Long Beach, CA. More at

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?