Is it a cliche to say I miss the Santa Ana winds? Perhaps. But this time of year is the season when they begin, when the deserts grow cold at night and the winds pick up and dance across your skin like electric needles taunting with the promise of the unknown.
I do love the seasons changing in the east. But sometimes I grow very tired of hearing people who have never lived in the west talk of how time stands still there because it's always the same outside. Anyone who has ever experienced a Santa Ana knows how wrong that is. How when fall comes, and the winds start, there's a taste to the air, and a smell. Maybe it's the danger of brush fires from the dry crack around, that warm snap of heat against cool. There's a static, a crispness, a sudden change maybe like biting into a perfect, ripe apple. But there's no sweetness to the Santa Ana. Just edge. And how enticing that is.
As I grow older, and as I've become a mom, everything my daughter does brings a parallel memory from when I was her age. Her growing up without knowing that heady peppery smell of eucalyptus on a Halloween eve as winds tumble and toss through a fragrant night feels like a loss to me — even though to her it's nothing she'll ever know, nor miss.
But I do. And I'm beginning to understand that what's seeded in us as a child, really never leaves us. In me, it's only growing stronger - the pieces woven when I little. I miss them strongly. And I wonder if the east can ever vie, for me, in that way.