Friday, October 10, 2008

Where Summer Never Dies

It’s windy outside. Windy and cool. I’m wearing a sweater; my hands are a bit cold as I sit here and type. I hesitate to even hope that this could be the start of fall: California has a way of teasing us with fall-like weather, only to then ratchet up into the 80s again with a cruel, sunny laugh.

If we didn’t know any better, all the signs would point to fall. The farmer’s market on Tuesday was overflowing with squash, every kind of squash imaginable, gold and green and orange, their heft and shape the very essence of October. Apples, too—bins of them, apples for eating and baking; we’ve seen advertisements for pick-your-own apple orchards, and pick-your-own pumpkins. The stores are filled with Halloween candy and costumes and orange-and-black decorations.

Those things fit on a day like this, gusty and chill. On other days, our world here seems as disjointed to me as seeing Christmas decorations in September. I compared it earlier this week with culture shock—things are not familiar, and though unfamiliarity can be interesting and exciting, sometimes you just want the things you know, the things you consider home. I want more than anything to make butternut squash soup, or carve a pumpkin, or go apple-picking—but I refuse to do those things when I’m wearing a tank top and shorts. It’s just not right. Not natural. It feels like a weak facsimile of how fall should be. My fingers are crossed that this today marks the start of fall as we know it, as it ought to be. In the meantime, wildfires are once again raging in this state where summer never dies.

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