It may be the start of the third “official” week of Fall, but it’s finally looking like a change is in the air. In Southern California, we tend to have very minimal seasonal changes – Spring basically warms up a few degrees to turn into Summer (in fact, much of the coast is so mired in “May Gray” and “June Gloom” that we tend to forget that Summer is even a season until July), Summer sort of fades out in the middle of December (anyone who lives anywhere else in the country will laugh at this – but sometimes Christmas is warmer than the Fourth of July).
Even so, this year I can sense a definite change in seasons. This weekend was crisp and clear, a little windy, and cool and damp at night. After the Summer we had – hot and humid and oppressively still – it’s made me a little giddy.
I wore a sweater for much of the weekend, relishing in the comforting softness against my skin. I went for a walk today – sweater on, even though it’s admittedly probably 5 degrees too warm for it – and the store windows are full of displays in fall colors. Whereas for much of the spring and summer I wanted to wear nothing but light dresses in pink and purple and blue, I am drawn to beautiful heavy skirts and sweaters and scarves of berry and sage and pumpkin. One of the stores even has a sort of a Christmas-y vibe in it’s window – bright red coats with jaunty white hats topped with pom-poms and paper snowflakes.
It’s comforting, too, to have this need for warmth – I wore slippers this morning for the first time in ages, cuddled up with a blanket last night, and wished for all the world that we’d already found a new house with a fireplace just so I could use it for the first time. This change in the weather has me thinking of house cleaning and decorating and baking and shopping, and parties with friends and family. I want to make soup and pie and hot chocolate and drive up to Julian to pick apples.
Mostly, I think that this seasonal change gives me hope for the future. It’s been an especially difficult year, bringing a seemingly neverending onslaught of problems and stressors. At times I felt like I should just give up. It’s not easy to deal with a constant barrage. I know I’m not out of the woods yet – the year is not yet over and I haven’t yet achieved what I set out to – but the crisp Autumn wind seems to remind me of all the good things yet to come, and how cyclical the world is. And getting out of the oppressive heat and humidity, even if only for a short while (the worst weather in Southern California – the destructive fire-feeding Santa Ana winds – typically sweep in during September and October), is helping to start clearing my head.
Edited on November 4th to say: What a difference a month makes! A little spooky, isn’t it? Change is good!!!