San Francisco has an Indian summer they tell me. It gets warmer in September and October before winter, otherwise known as the rainy season, sets in. I arrived in the Bay Area to live and work in November. This means I haven't seen anything resembling a summer season in a full year. And I'm not going to, I don't think.
It was broiling hot a couple of weekends ago when I attended an outdoor party in the middle of the day, for which many people from the East Coast flew in, and the conversation largely consisted of, "It's so hot. I can't believe how hot it is. It's never like this. Everyone is usually wearing jackets. Oh my God, I'm sweating everywhere. Hold my sangria, I've got to take this off." But those handful of days came and went, and now fall is setting in.
The air lately carries the smell of crispness that happens that time of year when, in places that don't have palm trees, leaves turn hillsides into a kaleidoscope of warm colors. Autumn is here, sort of, but in a way that seems far away.
I've been waiting for summer. Patiently waiting for that season that feels like pulling on wool socks after a long night with no blanket. I've been waiting for the sun to tan my forearms and lighten my hair. Waiting for September or October, for that late breaking warmth. But again today, like days in January and July, I wore a coat and a scarf.
I came knowing there weren't four distinct seasons in San Francisco, like there are back home, where I lived my entire life. Logically, it all adds up. But my body expected sunshine. My skin expected sustained rays that paint on tiny freckles.
I wonder if when it rains again--it hasn't since March--if it will feel like winter time.
Camping is great fun. I'm not the first person to observe this. Hiking out for miles, pitching a tent, then sleeping beneath nothing but a thin layer of vinyl between you and the heavens--is nothing short of terrific.