As the right side of the country continues to deal with freezing temps, here in Los Angeles we’re trading January for June. Unlike the polar vortex, this temp shift doesn’t pose quite the level of chaos, though it points a big, blinking Vegas-style neon sign for fire alert directly at Southern California.
I love this town. I do. I even laughed a little at the small earthquake last Friday, on the twentieth anniversary of the big quake we had in my teens, wondering what it is that keeps us all here. What brought my ancestors here, first to San Francisco and then Los Angeles, over 150 years ago. We are nothing if not optimists. We build, knowing it might fall. When it falls, we put it right back up. We stay put.
Earthquakes have never made me want to leave LA, but the weather this last year, and this almost non-existent winter especially, has me longing for seasons. Longing for a little more Mother Nature than LA has to offer. And for the first time in awhile, I’m thinking about moving. Not yet married, not yet a parent, in some ways it’s not very complicated. This might be the best time to do it. There are other cities I love, cities where I have friends and family. Cities where the sun doesn’t shine year round, but when it is shining, it is greeted rather than taken for granted. Many move west for the very reason I want to leave.
The grass is always greener.
Throughout my life, I’ve spent months at a time living in cities where I watched leaves turn, snow melt and cicadas sing. But things always pulled me back to LA. Some of those reasons I regret, others I still think were smart. Unfortunately, we only know these things in hindsight. Parts of my life were made richer by staying in LA. At other times, staying did more harm than good. It’s not black and white. Life never is.
Today it was almost 80º in LA. If you took a photo, it might be hard to place it if you looked back in May or November. I think I’m tired of things staying so very much the same. It’s a bit like the way we now import produce year round, blurring the memories of a time when plums and artichokes and Meyer lemons were greeted rather than taken for granted. Have our senses grown lazy as a result?
I worry sometimes, more as I get older, about what I take for granted. I want a little more marveling at Mother Nature. I want a little less June in January, which I find hard to describe as marvelous. It’s simply the same as yesterday, forecast the same for tomorrow. Little changes. But change is good.
And now, five great things someone else said about seasons:
I have an affection for those transitional seasons, the way they take the edge off the intense cold of winter, or heat of summer. Whitney Otto
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. F. Scott Fitzgearld
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. John Steinbeck
It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart. Ranier Maria Rilke
Summer bachelors like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be. Nora Ephron