Where I live we have an elusive autumn. Non-natives who live in the Bay Area joke that we have no seasons here. We do, but they are subtle, and the edges are sometimes hard to identify. Here on the coast, where I live, we have fog in the summer and then Indian Summer in the fall and then *bam* it snaps to cold (where cold=mildly cool to most of the rest of the country). Sometimes in between those things we get a little hint of autumn. But not so much this year.
I need something to mark the transition between summer and winter, because if I don’t mark it that onslaught of rain and chill and soggy leaves in the gutters that signals fall is over feels a bit like a slap in the face. This year, especially, I have had to go looking for signs of autumn. Summer flowers are still blooming in my garden (though they are getting scraggly). The unusually warm days this month and dry weather last spring have sent most of the trees straight from green to brown. Even the liquid amber trees, common around here, are not so vibrant. The maples are mottled, but not vivid. The evenings are cool, but don’t have the delicious crisp scent of fall that I miss.
It seems odd that I crave this season, as if I had lived somewhere sometime where I experienced it. I miss it in my cells, though I have lived in this 50-square-mile patch of California all but one year of my life. Even that first year of my life, when we lived in Virginia, my family left the country to travel before the fall. I have never lived through an east coast autumn. But still, I crave the trees turning, the apple picking, the knitting of warm socks and mittens, the stacking of wood for winter and hot chocolate to warm my fingers after and the smell of smoke from the first cozy fires.
What is fall like where you live? Do you miss a season you no longer get to experience?