While people in my home state wait anxiously for spring, we are in near-summer here. It's 80 AGAIN today, and I am irritated. Partly because warm weather brings out the hordes of asshole teenagers in my neighborhood, but also because I want my seasons. I don't like to skip. I don't want to go straight from 35 to 85, which is exactly what happens down here, and every year I forget and every year I get annoyed.
I would happily swap my northern comrades; I could use a few more days of cold and moisture. My yard needs it, my handknits crave it, and more than that, my soul needs it.
There is an ease and a joy to warm days after cold ones; a feeling of renewal and promise that is lacking in warmer climates. After so many dark days, the tiniest sunbeam brings a smile. 55 degrees is now shorts-and-no-coat weather, even though in September 55 degrees made you break out the parka. The air is fresher, washed clean with chilly rains. When summer comes, it means fireflies, lounging on porches, lemonade, slowing down to savor every warm moment. Sitting in the warm dark holding hands and enjoying the feel of your skin against the air. Flowers bloom and you have time to appreciate them before they're gone. The warm days are so fleeting, so welcome, that you want to suck every drop of fun out of them before winter returns.
Here - and to a lesser extent, also in California - I feel like summer is something to dread. It's not a time for open windows and running through sprinklers, it's a time when you race from one air-conditioned environment to another, because between ozone alerts and sky-high temperatures playing outside means health risks. Southern summer means you damn well better get up and be at the park by 9:00 am, or you're going to pass out on the monkey bars by noon. It means you swim in the morning and spend the afternoon laying on the living-room floor with a popsicle because it's too hot and still to play. Summer here lasts so long, and it's so hot and fierce, that you wonder why the first settlers to this area ever dragged themselves out here in the first place. The baked clay earth hardens and the grass dies. Everything wilts and melts. It's not a lot of fun, honestly.
I miss that transition, each day a little warmer and brighter than the last. I miss smiling as I watch the weather report and see the numbers creep just a little higher each week. I miss rush of gratitude for the return of warm days and checking each patch of grass for tiny flowers. I miss looking forward to summers, to planning treats and trips and I miss lounging on porches with my lemonade.