In the USA, Fall has been usurped. The Northeast rules our iconography, and yet. Sweaters, boots? It’s still in the 70s where I live. Waves of forest red? We’re still growing roses.
I’m here to represent other autumns. We know when the oleander drops.
You see, contrary to popular mythology, California does have a fall. It’s just small. It comes when summer has passed, when the concrete of our driveways cools down. Before winter, when it rains. Or doesn’t rain, so we gather at the dinner table worrying about whether it will rain.
Our light changes.
But we have to pay attention. In summer we close our eyes and walk in the sun. Sometimes it’s too bright to get to the car without dark glasses. In fall, we look around. Even if around just means somewhere up above suburban roofs. The sensibility develops over time.
And down. Not just because pyracantha berries are slippery and lodge themselves enthusiastically in our sneaker treads.
In order to find fall in the grain of light on asphalt, and long shadows cast by leaves.
Not to worry. No plans to secede. When we want to share the national zeitgeist, we head over the hill to Half Moon Bay, an agricultural and fishing town that throws one heck of a pumpkin festival.
My friends, what are the joys of your particular autumn? Alternatively, which of your seasons do you nominate for the National Calendar? I propose Northern California to represent July. Oh, and despite a slight petulance, if you’re in Vermont I support your right to proclaim the forest red. It’s just that I suspect Alabama and Oregon might also have something to say.