On Fall

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Fog Breath
The morning fog smelled of pine trees today—green and almost vanilla sweet. (Doesn’t always, of course. Sometimes it stinks of beached and rotting seaweed.) I’m not a true fan of fog. In fact, in polite company I refer to it as the fogging fog.

We’re new enough to San Francisco, though, that I can still wonder at the warp and wisp of the different kinds of fog: The tuck of fog low over the bay. The high fog I can see a block away, but is invisible where I’m standing. The skim-blue fog that races east on streets, that smokes trees, that ticks from eaves and awnings. Heavy fog that jewels the dense canopies of cypress trees and falls like a sudden splatter of rain.

If only fog didn’t so gray the day. Or noir the night. Or give a false sense of an impending cloudburst.

It’s the end of September. Fall is here. And so—still—is the “summer” fog. I know it’s fall because TV folks on the East Coast are wearing serious, autumn-colored clothes. In SF, this city of long-sleeves and sweater sets, we’re still wearing pastel. Under fleece, sometimes, but still. It has to be fall? There’s no morning sun streaming through our skylight at 6:30 am. People are back to school. There’s NFL football.

It’s not that I don’t remember the turn, turn of seasons. I do. I may be a one-season kind of tropical woman, but, I’m not that much of a dolt that I don’t love the ripeness of autumn leaves. Even if my dread of winter’s deep-freeze used to limn the beauty. Fall in the City by the Bay means that you might stumble upon a sweet gum tree with its starred leaves dying red. And it means any day now I’ll notice that the fog has burned away for the rest of the year.

I’m impatient now, man. Because I’m just beginning to get a preview of the absolute best part of living in the West. We live not a mile from the Pacific Ocean. Where the fog forms, certainly. But also where the sun will set with exaggeration as often as the winter rainy season allows. Here’s the evening view from the Room of My Own where I sit and try to pull fresh prose from my, uh, um, person:

Sky Flambé
9.18.06
Smolder
9.19.06
Oh, Drama
9.21.06

And here’s Friday, December 08, 2006, 7:07:10 AM. Good Morning, Everyone!

[tag] San Francisco, fog, sunset[/tag]

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