The Beaver Moon Meander

People are fond of saying that there are no seasons in California. Generally, the people who say this kind of thing really mean the Los Angeles area as opposed to the entire state of California, and invariably they are people who come from someplace else. I don't intend to be judgemental or harsh, but these people are just flat out wrong.

In the defense of the California climatic critics, it goes without saying that the seasons are not as sharply differentiated here as they are elsewhere. It also bears noting that, especially here in Los Angeles, one becomes quickly unaccustomed to noticing the subtle. But there are distinct seasons here, and they are uniquely different. What brings me to rant on this subject is the special quality to the Autumnal Air in the Los Angeles area.

After the heat of Summer and the last rash of the smog season, there comes the magical months where the days are striated with hot, clear stretches and a crisp, hard coldness. During the day, the air seems to tremble with clarity and promise, as if assuring us that a new Summer is coming, one without the relentless torment of the sun, one without the hazy white skies, without the smog. It is a promise of more than another Summer, though, it is a feeling that the fading of the year will lead to a new year, and it will be good. The mountains ring the city with bold certainty, the sea is blue and hard, and you can see the Channel Islands, seemingly so close you could reach out and touch them.

Later, when the cold creeps into the twilight, and the stars start to come out (yes, even in Los Angeles), everything takes on a strange intensity. Lights seen through the bare branches of trees burn like a warm half-memory from an enchanting dream, piercingly direct. A dim melancholy then permeates the night, a reflection of forgotten nobility and grandeur, a weight of sadness and history; it is the fading embers of another year, and time passes, never to return. There is a faint smell of wood smoke, a chill in the air, and a gentle but capricious wind off the high desert. The ravens hop about, and caw at you plaintively.

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As there was rain in the mountains (clouds along Latigo Road, and fresh mud at Corral Canyon), the Meander wended its merry way about the living room of the Sunnyside Asylum.
  • "Giving Thanks for Love" by Jocyln Hale from the internet
  • "If" by Rudyard Kipling
  • "The Whore of Mensa" by Woody Allen
  • excerpts from Slaughterhouse Five (or, the Children's Crusade) by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

All misspellings, misattributions, omissions or errors in naming should be construed as Acts of God, directed through yours truly (for reasons at which we as mere mortals may only guess...)