Thursday, January 06, 2005

turn, turn, turn

My non-west coast friends all ask me if I miss the seasons living here. However, I don't think they really want to know my answer, since before I get to it, they're off on the explanation of how much they'd miss them. The snow, they croon. I'd miss the snow. And the leaves in the fall… ltheir eyes grow dreamier.

Okay, quit it. It is pure myth that we on California's central coast do not have seasons. If you want snow and leaves, they are only a couple hours' drive away. But more to the point, is that we've been trained to believe seasons can only consist of Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Here, we have things like avocado season, pomegranate season, the season when all the crazy giant tree aloes bloom in big orange cones of flowers, the one where the ice plant turns into a purple carpet, the foggy morning/clearing by afternoon season, and the rainy season, just to name a few.

Rainy season runs roughly from November through February. I remember the first time I saw it rain after we'd moved here. We'd arrived in August. It had been four months since I'd seen a drop. Then one day I called Mike to the window gasping and gawking. It was pouring. We stood there mesmerized watching the show. Just like that. The rain made itself at home, howling and causing a scene, like it owned the place.

It doesn't rain every day during the season, mind you. And usually there are glorious sunny days in between, since, after all, it isn't foggy season. There are some really cool advantages to having your rain contained within certain months of the year. For example, I knew it wasn't going to rain on my wedding day. Never crossed my mind that it might. True to the history of the last couple centuries, it didn't. And you appreciate your rain more when it is there – after this spell, you don't know when you'll see it again. It's like a long distance relationship, except it works.

My due date is a tad outside the hard and fast parameters of rainy season, but I'm hoping maybe a late storm might bleed over a bit. I want it to pour rain when I give birth. Pour and pour and pour. Since it only gets to state its case for a third of the year, the rain here generally does not arrive as a gentle sprinkle. It screams down in torrents for hours on gusty winds, pelting the ground with acorns that sound like so many bee-bee guns. I love the rain. There is some rumors of a mini El Niño year approaching. Plus, I'm having a Pisces. Wouldn’t the waters be fitting then?

The Pisces deal didn't always lead me to such sentimental and serene thoughts. Until recently, I was confidently holding to the thought of how, naturally, I would let my child be exactly what he or she was meant to be, when one day I remembered an early freak out I had had. Very early. Like a week into knowing. The doctor declared my due date of March 7th and having yet to do the math myself, I immediately denied the possibility of a Pisces. No, no, I insisted, the end of March, it'll be an Aries. You'd think I hold hard and fast to zodiac signs, which I don't. But, what I mean to say is, um, I mean, well, it's just that, surely I wasn't having a Pisces. Good one, Kitty. Mangle his essential being right from the get go. Chuck it onto the list of my neurotic tendencies and add it to my constant blubbering, releasing sad hormones for my baby to feed on, and approximately every other day I am quite convinced that I've already ruined my baby's life, shorn the confidence and essence of this new creature. That belief is quickly followed by understanding the absolute absurdity that I have the power to alter another being's purpose and personality in such a way. Parental influence is way overrated.

Pisces it is then. Since I have no bathtub or birthing tub in which to welcome my little fish, my hope is for one more good storm while I'm in labor. The sound of release. And maybe Baby will be more eager to join us on this side with less distress to mom if we create a watery welcome, something familiar.

In the ven diagram of my personal version of the central coast seasons, as rainy season continues, we are also moving into the circle of "yellow season." That's when the acacia trees bloom in heavy branches of lemony fluff, the oxalis bursts out of its clover leaves to overrun yards, and the wild mustard fills wide sunshiny stripes between the green of the artichoke fields. This wouldn't be a bad season to be born in either. These days, I can see, there are so many good ones to choose from.

Despite what any ultrasound has to say about the length of my baby's femur bone and, consequently, his or her calculated growth and presumed date of arrival, he or she will come out when it's time, in just the right season.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Loved the part about the different kinds of seasons. I think you are really on to something there and maybe you should expand that more into one of your NPR pieces. Quite entertaining.
peace, jerry

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