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Oct 8, 2018

Fall in the Central Valley

In these parts, autumn is timid and gradual. For me, it also hides within a distinct feeling of spring. In the Central Valley, summer is a harsh season to survive, with its stubborn heat, with not a drop of rain in four months. Fall brings relief of moisture and cooler days. In my northern instincts, relief connotes spring. My sense of seasons is confused, and yet delighted at its own confusion. One moment, a deciduous tree broadcasts nostalgia, evokes the memories of other, more drastic autumns elsewhere. I wonder if the tree is like me, a transplant. The next thing I see is a patch of outrageous green, happily radiating spring-like exuberance. It is just coming to life.

Both fall and spring are transitional; they call for rearrangements, for reshuffling of feelings, for switching mind’s gears. The light is different, the wind is different, the sounds take on another quality, the changing dawn and dusk creep on you. It is time for some habits and routines to be abandoned, for others to begin. I returned to writing a paper started a few weeks ago, and realize I don’t like it anymore. It will join the graveyard of abandoned projects hidden in my files under a self-deceptive folder “In progress.” It goes back decades; nothing ever comes back from it.

There is no progress in seasons, no linear time, no beginning and end. Instead, they are a set of endless cycles: sun goes up and down, up and down, up and down. Fall turns into winter, winter turns into spring, and on and on and on. The seasons make a mockery of human life, which has a distinct beginning, and an irreversible end. Someone has noticed the mockery millennia ago, and smiled back at the world. From then on, we keep smiling, counting days and summers, oddly pleased that they will go on after we end.

1 comment:

  1. I spend the first bit of autumn in denial, then in mourning—how could my beloved summer end (again)? Then I really see the beauty, and I pull out my sweaters and boots readying myself for what this SoCal Woman considers “the cold!”