Sunday, March 27, 2011

In Just- spring

In my part of California, the transition between winter and spring is not so sweet or joyous as it is in other places; we slip and fade from one into the other, without crocuses peeping up through snow or rhythmic drops falling from icicles. We're neither exhausted from five months of snow-shoveling nor cranky and depleted from lack of sunshine, and we don't put our winter clothes in mothballs because we don't have winter clothes, just less summery ones.

And yet . . . in a place that is basically desert rimmed by a little ribbon of coastal abundance (take a look at Sunset's climate zones), we do have a sign of spring: Green. And Yellow. Verdure. Freshness. Green blanketing the hills like velvet. Yellow mustard so brilliant that if you saturate it enough in a photograph, it looks fake.

Farmers grow mustard as a cover crop that they then plow under to enrich the soil. Like the yellow flowers, the green velvet hills are soon gone. Their transitory presence is therefore accompanied by a poignancy that hurts the heart -- they are there, but they will soon go, and unlike the places with real summer, with rain and peonies and cumulonimbus clouds and fireflies, California will be dry and cloudless until November, and the hills will be the hue (let's be honest, brown) that gives the Golden State its name.

I always feel sad to see these things disappear, and I look forward to when the cycle returns to them.  But summer has its charms too, I guess, and I think of George Santayana's view:  

[Linkup to Quotography]

 "To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."


Nancy said...

Sniffle. Where's the kleenex?

My heart is sighing
Inside a chest
That heaves my breath
Upward and out,
While my tears of joy
Into the springtime air.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

How lovely! Thank you.

Katy Noelle said...

Oh, boy, Elise! This takes me home!!! I remember and love the lush green hills of a CA winter. We used to say that it looked like Scotland.

I think that I've mentioned, somewhere, before, too, that my Grandparents lived in San Luis Obispo (and second cousin, Ruthie, lived in Santa Cruz.) Central California's rolling hills is heart achingly beautiful - dotted with the oaks and Cambria pine and the fog rolling into the hills from the ocean. Sigh! It has been a very, very long time!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, Katy -- a post will follow at some point about fog, I'm sure :)

Georgia Girls said...

I like that quote -- a reminder to enjoy every season of your life as well. Autumn happens to be my favorite time of the year.

Nicolasa said...

What a great post! I love the photo and that quote is perfect!

Nicolasa said...

BTW- Thanks so much for linking up!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks very much, Nicolasa and Georgia --