Tag Archives: autumn

An Oklahoman Laments the Loss of Fall

Redwoods don’t drop their leaves.

So it’s fall now, I think. I’m not really sure anymore if the seasons exist. Here in San Francisco nothing changes. Quinoa’s on its way out, boar’s on its way in. Gourmet sausage is somewhere in the middle, the roasted pork chop probably isn’t going anywhere, but fall isn’t coming. That’s for darn sure. Even though sometimes the wind blows and it’s got that crisp feeling and maybe there’s a leaf somewhere in there too, but it’s all an illusion. Fall isn’t going to come here at all.

Sure we get the Halloween Candy, and the pumpkins, and fall-themed lattes from Starbucks, but they won’t bring me a proper autumn. And the kids are back in school, and preschool-high school teachers are wearing themed sweaters over wildly patterned turtlenecks, but it makes no difference whatsoever.

The fog rolls out and in.

We’ve already been wearing sweaters for the past three months and one hundred years. We’ve already lit our fireplaces to stave off the cold of a chilly summer night, and warmed our hands at a bonfire on the beach to keep our fingers from turning blue in late May. We never put our scarves away in the first place, but we’ll never have to turn on our heaters because we don’t have them. Time doesn’t progress here so much as ebb in and out. Other places go in circles, but we move back and forth along the same straight line.

Still, the children get older. The facial hair on the hipsters gets slightly more ironic. Banana Republic models get more smug as they laugh in their business casual clothes.

Somewhere, college students are planning apple picking trips and updating their facebook statuses about how excited they are about wearing fall clothes. Somewhere, the leaves are beginning to turn slightly less green as they prepare to all fall down. But not here. Not ever.

I’ve only been on the West Coat for 2.5 months. Thank God it’s never too early for nostalgia. I’ll go out and drink $8 cups of coffee until the pain goes away.

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Autumn: It’s a Meteorological Miracle!

The sun used to be evil. Now it’s just unfriendly.

A “season,” according to Wikipedia, is “a division of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight” that results from “the yearly revolution of the Earth.” What Wikipedia doesn’t say is that seasons, despite occurring yearly with little variation, are miraculous. There’s a quote by someone I can’t remember that goes something like this, “The winter is cold, and the summer is hot. Every year this news hits the people of Britain like a thunderbolt.”

I’ve never heard anything more true. While growing up corn-fed in Oklahoma, I was accustomed to knowing what season we were in from the headlines on the front page of The Daily Oklahoman: “It’s Cold Outside”  for the winter or “It Sure is Hot Out There” for the summer,” and I used to mock this bizarre culture of weather fascination. Couldn’t they see it was always the same? But after traveling 1/3 of the way across the world, I have become one of the shell-shocked masses. Something has happened that I didn’t dare to believe would come to pass: the weather here is cooling down.

This change in weather is a subject of daily wonder for me. It’s as if I’ve never experienced the changing of the seasons before or undergone a full rotation on this earth. Maybe I’m undergoing a radical paradigm shift from viewing Cairo as a place that is always hot and unbearable to a place that is somewhat cool and semi-bearable.

Whatever the reason, I can’t stop talking about it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this weather is awesome. Right now it’s 75 degrees, I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt, sweatpants, a scarf, and loving life. I even have goosebumps right now, and they’re not because of extreme dehydration, heat stroke, or a food-poisoning induced fever.

If I’ve seen you within the last three weeks, odds are I’ve exclaimed something mundane like, “This weather is soooo nice!” or “This weather is soooo beautiful!” or “I love this weather!”  I may have even said all of them. And I’ve seen you more than once, I’ve probably said the same thing to you again without shame, even remembering perfectly well that we had talked exclusively about the weather the last time we spoke.

The reality is that I will continue to talk about the weather as if it were an interesting subject, even though I know it is not. But the fact I no longer want to throw myself under the nearest moving vehicle when I’m in the sun is a miracle, pure and simple. Last week, I lounged in full reach of the sun’s rays and napped. Had I tried doing that a month ago, all that would have been left of me after fifteen minutes would be a puddle of pinkish goo and a Pilot Precise V5 pen. The times are a changing and it’s wonderful! Let the news ring from every building top, balcony, minaret and steeple: AUTUMN IS HERE!  AND I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT!

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