There is a rainbow colored circle in the sky and I’m in San Francisco and I see my family tonight and hug my mom for the first time in 7 months and meet my baby cousin and life is so surreal right now and I don’t know what to do with all of these beautiful feelings anymore except hug them and tell them “thank you for being here. Please stay a while.” #sunset #sanfrancisco #thefeels (at San Francisco, California)
So someone I love was born in December. In California. Where there is no such thing as winter. And by “winter” I mean the one I have grown up with - they don’t know what it means to get snowed in, to have a snow day, to watch all of the leaves change and start wearing boots and sweaters in late September. Their winter isn’t peppered with images of convoys of plow trucks rolling by getting ready for the next “Nor-Easter.” They enjoy the pumpkin drinks and candles and peppermint teas but they don’t get the satisfaction of having one of those warm you up after your nose is so cold it turns red. Their coats are there for “in-case-of-emergency” instead of “functionality for every-day use.” What does being born in the winter mean without the full expression of a season? Have you ever had to describe a snow storm to someone before that has never seen a snow storm? What about to someone you are falling in love with? What about describing anything that makes you feel at home to someone you are falling in love with? And you know they still can’t fathom it, despite your colorful and carefully thought-out articulation? I wanted my words to translate into a tangible simulation. It’s interesting how much when I’m telling stories to him, that I want them to stop being stories. I want them to exist in his physical frequency of understanding, instead of just relying on my broken up memory. it’s crazy how much I’ve forgotten in just a short amount of time. It’s as if it took me 7 months to forget much of the last 24 years. Or maybe I just never had to describe them to someone I was falling in love with before. Maybe everyone I’ve known until now knew what snowfall felt like. So it didn’t matter if my explanation was sub-par. It didn’t need an explanation at all. It was just there - part of their understanding of “winter” just as it was mine. And although this conversation happened several weeks ago I still think about it from time to time. I wonder if what I said was good enough. I hope it was. I hope it made him excited to see snow one day. I hope I painted a picture that was beautiful (like when the first heavy snowstorm hits, and it looks like cotton balls are falling by the millions from the sky, and it makes no noise) and I hope I also painted a picture that was funny (how after that first storm we forget how beautiful it is and are just inconvenienced and annoyed at its presence. And how the bottom of your pants are always wet, and you’d better wear a scarf or you’re screwed.)
And the same goes for Spring. And how it probably wouldn’t feel as special if it didn’t directly follow winter. How getting snowed in with loved ones and blankets of white start to lose their charm and you just want to be outside without a jacket and feel sunshine on your cheeks and your shoulders. But what people don’t realize is that the transition from winter to spring is often the opposite of beautiful; what with all of the leftover salt from the trucks that was poured by the barrel to melt the snow, how the stubborn ice that never melted once it was plowed into the corners of grocery store parking lots finally melts into the grass on the curbside and makes a mud puddle that lasts for weeks. And even once all the snow melts all of the fields and yards are too wet to play in, unless you want your grass to be ruined (who wants that) or to be covered in mud (okay, sometimes I actually do want that). Or summer, and how cherished it is because we only get 2 months out of 12 to feel hot sand and intense heat and it’s the only time of year we can be outside at night without a sweatshirt. And how sometimes it gets so humid that you feel like you are breathing through a wet bath-towel. And when you get to your car on a summer morning it’s covered in dew from condensation. And then when autumn comes along that dew turns to a morning frost some time in mid-October. It’s your morning-ly reminder that things are changing again. I remember walking to the bus stop on Fall mornings, and the sun was just starting to peek over the roof of my house, and its shadow was cast on half of our lawn. And the shadows that covered the grass were still covered in frost, but any grass the sun touched was still vibrantly green. I remember thinking that the sun must have been an artist that painted all the time - like he was constantly painting new pictures of the world depending on how he felt. So the sun was sad at night because it was cold so he painted everything white. But in the morning he got to shine and was happy to he brought the colors back. And then he painted shadows and clouds and skylines and bloomed flowers on THAT day instead of the day before or the day before because that’s just how he was feeling. And that I was lucky, I was so lucky to watch the sun make art, because I wasn’t good at art but could watch the sun paint all day.
Last week it got down to the 70s, and even the 60s at night. I keep forgetting that I live in a desert, in a valley no less. So the extremes are said to always happen here. I got to wear a sweater and feel comfortable. And it made me excited - actually it made me alarmingly excited just to get to wear a sweater and feel comfortable. I see pictures from home and the orange and yellow trees and brown piles of leaves and pumpkins in front of a door with a red apple that got picked at an orchard from a hay ride and I am missing it so so much. But not in the way that makes me long for home, more like an appreciation of what I know will always be part of me. I want everyone here to know what it feels like. What fall smells like. What winter air tastes like. I want to bring him to New Jersey on December 27 to taste and smell and feel the air on his birthday in a place that is home for me but only a word or description that he’s heard about. I wonder what that would be like for him or for anyone. Having always been a summer birthday, it’s pretty much been the same everywhere I’ve been. But what if I could bring someone somewhere new? Man, I really hope I got the description right of the importance of scarves. God knows I couldn’t part with an entire box of them, and I’ll probably never open that box now as long as I live here.
Love is funny and life is funny and the entirety of 2014 has been one bit adventurous comedy reel in which i don’t stop seeing and i don’t stop experiencing but I haven’t been able to give as much back. Everyone I know and love has been so far away until the last few months. Then love found me here. It found me in trails that only I go to in the mountains, in places where I know they make the most amazing burritos and vegan horchata, in the corner of my room where I keep my books, in my yoga studio that I go to to feel the most human feelings i’ve ever felt, it came in new incredible friends, in grocery-store interactions with people I’ll never see again, it came in nights with my brother where we stay up late watching strange movies in subtitles, it came in a new career path, in a new day-to-day, in a release of the old and embrace of the new - and it came in being able to share and share and share and give and open up and accept and feel feel feel all of the wonderful things that are here in Los Angeles; instead of long for the things that aren’t. Like hay rides in the COLD. And apple orchards that you have to ride a tractor to get to. And snow storms. And ugly transitions from winter to spring. But blending the two and loving the two and choosing to love instead of long is where I’ve just been reminded, as I often am, how fucking amazing it is to even exist at all and get to experience all of this. I’m so grateful my heart might burst. I’m so excited that I barely sleep anymore. And I really hope I described the way an apple orchard looks because it would be so so amazing if the people that have heard me talk about it would want to go to one one day because they saw how excited it made me just to remember how the sunlight hit the trees in the afternoon. I think that might just be what it means to share, and to love.