November 9, 2011


I know it's been autumn for a while now this side of the equator. But as a new San Francisco resident, I'm just getting the hang of this whole freezing summer/summery fall situation. So allow me the indulgence of summarizing my summer this far into the fall season. I feel like taking a look back.

Here goes.

Summer adventures began in the middle of America. A trip to Duluth, MN.

I gained a new status, ABD. It's not a disease. I went out into the world at the beginning of this summer untethered, again, from the role "student." What would it mean to persist toward a weighty new title? What would life be like after another uprooting from place?

It was cold in Duluth.

I saw these strange passenger ship cabin displays in a maritime museum on Lake Superior.

It grew warm quickly after. Every chance possible, I convened with the best people I had come to know on a truly memorable balcony. There are some pictures, but those are for me. I miss those times. They were gone far too soon.

Before I knew it, the warmth and weekly porch BBQ sessions were over. I got a sunburn at a yard sale, where I rid myself of the things I treasured for my brief stay in Minnesota. It was really summer then. Hot and sticky, and full with the love of real friends.

Before I knew it I was in a strange, beautiful new place.

It was cold again, very cold. And I was lonely.

But the beauty to behold at every turn overwhelmed my wary heart.

I went to Los Angeles, seeking the love of old friends. It awaited me unchanged, and I was happy.

We went to a baseball game.

Mostly we talked, and I soaked up the sun I so desperately craved. I remebered a truth it took moving far away to understand: I love southern California.

I bought a dress by Won Hundred at Mohawk General Store. (Of course I did.) I wore it to see the ocean again.

I ate delicious seafood.

I went back to San Francisco, and before I knew it summer was peaking. It was still cold in this city. But on my husband's 30th birthday, conditions were perfect.

We rode the ferry. I love a boat ride. My hair has grown so long.

We went to Muir Woods and saw the most incredible things.

The redwoods

Glistening spiderwebs

This fern that really looks just like this, like a hovering neon green fog

This wonderful plant whose name I do not know, and a bee. Spot the bee.

What is technically "fall" arrived and it got quite warm here. I explored more. I put in something of an effort.

This happened.

Now it has turned cold, again. This summer I learned to adapt, again. I focused on maintaining balance, health, and well-being. I bought some amazing things, but I didn't show you them all just yet. I don't know what to say about that. Sometimes you just act out of habit, to feel yourself remain while the world delivers you change.

I just think it's really beautiful here.

But this place is not yet my own.


Samantha said...

Thank you for your beautiful writing and the comfort it has given me. You expressed exactly what I've been feeling with regards to my current place of residence (I'm an international student and it's nearly the end of my first year at University). I like it here, but it's not quite my home.

Syed said...

Autumn is by far my favourite season of the year. Just as the leaves start falling and scattering the pavement with burnt reds and golden browns, the days get shorter and you find yourself coming home in the dark, and the cold picks up and the thought of going inside to a cosy cup of tea is delicious.

Mel said...

beautiful writing and very beautiful photos.

som said...

lovely reflection - this self reflection.

O D Y S S E Y said...

what beautiful photos.
autumn has always been my favorite time of year, but i haven't really experienced it in over 2 decades. i miss it very much.