"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke (©julenisse/Fotolia)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Got My Fall Fix in Montana

Near Walking Lightly Ranch, Whitefish MT

In the East and Midwest, it’s sometimes so chilly in October that you have to wear a heavy jacket over your Halloween costume. On the other hand, I remember a Missouri heat wave that lasted until Election Day.

It was 86 degrees in Santa Monica today—as much as 20 degrees hotter inland. So for all practical purposes it’s still summer. Maybe it’s always summer here...I don’t know yet; I’ve only lived here five weeks.

It’s not Fall in Southern California. I mean, obviously, it’s Fall, or Autumn if you prefer, according to the calendar, but there are no obvious seasonal changes as far as I can tell. It’s green and warm—hot even—and I haven’t even thought about pumpkins, gourds or goblins. I did see a home in our neighborhood with cobwebs strewn about the yard, but I don’t think it was intentional. It’s pretty eclectic here. 

By the way, palm trees do occasionally drop their leaves; when they do, it's "look out below!" 

People say lots of things when you tell them you’re moving to L.A. Among them: “Why???” “Ugh, the traffic.”  And, “Oh, I think I’d miss the change of seasons.” Honestly, it never occurred to me that I’d miss the seasons. Didn’t expect to miss them. Still may not miss them at all.

I was fortunate enough to be in Montana a couple of weeks ago. That’s when it hit me! The leaves there were beginning to change. For the first time, I realized it would probably be the only chance I’d have this year to see trees change from green to orange and yellow and red. What a gift!  Not only to see, but smell those leaves, both damp and dry, and hear them crunch beneath my hiking shoes.
From Sean McAleer, Eau Claire WI

I bet those Montana trees are spectacular by now, as are their sisters in Illinois and Wisconsin, as shown off by friends and family on line. I’m sure the “October Surprise” maple we planted 18 years ago is wowing the new owners of our home back in Kansas.

Regrets? No. Nostalgia? Absolutely. But it’s okay. I’m going to the beach tomorrow. 

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