I love California in the fall. I know the leaves don’t really change and when it’s 70º in the morning I’m convinced I can wear a sweater only to sweat through it by noon, but nevertheless, it’s one of the best seasons we have if you ask me. The colors of nature seem crisper than they do the rest of the year. The ocean is this dark, piecing blue that makes you forget about everything that’s sad. And when you swim in it, it’s almost as if the salty water seeps into your heart and mends any part of it that has been hurt. I know that’s a bit dramatic, but I think it’s true. The wind is the most perfect temperature this time of year, too. It’s the kind of breeze that rushes through your hair at unexpected moments, reminding you of falls from before and cooling you down without causing chicken skin. At other times, it blows offshore, giving the waves flawless shape. Down on the beach, the tides are more dramatic, allowing you to see things you might not have during other seasons and sea animals outnumber people. The beach is quiet, but not lonely. Fishermen scatter the coastline searching for lobster even after the firery sunsets.
As a kid, I never appreciated fall the way I do now. The end of summer and the start of school practically devastated me. Fall quickly began to represent the end of my long unrestrained beach days and the start of anxiety filled school days trying to fit in and focus. There were many fall nights where I used to go to sleep wishing and praying for big piles of leaves to jump in or snow that would cancel school. I’m so grateful that I can appreciate fall in California as an adult.