Coming Home

The constant hum of the locust greeted me like old friends I didn’t even realize I had missed until I heard them. “Welcome home” they said. When I closed my eyes I was instantly transported back to the Virginia summers of my youth. Lightning bugs in the park and afternoon thunderstorms that you had to wait to pass so you could jump back in the pool. Feeling sticky from the humidity. Mosquito bites everywhere, all the time. All so benign at the time–but now, after months in the parched, dusty, brown, and drought-ridden California, the cast of characters of summers in the South were a welcome, and unexpected friend.

I knew I would miss the seasons–I didn’t expect it to hit till the fall though. While baking in the dry heat of the San Gabriel Valley, I realized how important the seasons were–in life, to set your mood, to let you know that something better, or just different is on the way. To remind you that things never stay the same. I felt off balance without this shift. How do I feel today? Happy? Introspective? I’m not sure–it’s sunny and 85 again, how boring. I craved a gloomy, rainy afternoon so I could curl up in an overstuffed chair and feel melancholy. I missed the rumble of thunder in the distance. I knew I would soon miss the smell that appears suddenly one day at the end of August that lets you know summer was coming to a close. At first you are sad-I haven’t been to the pool enough. But then you remember the crunchy leaves that you will go out of your way to step on, and excitement for the upcoming few months overtakes you.

But February in Virginia, highs of 8 degrees–you will never, ever be missed.

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