It’s not exactly sweater weather (or even thin long-sleeve) yet but fall is around the corner, I can feel it.
And I am so ready.
Don’t get me wrong, long summer days spent poolside, soaking up the sunshine, and backyard barbecues with friends and family are fantastic but my heart truly belongs to the days of fall. Maybe it’s because I’m a September baby (yes, my birthday is around the corner) or maybe it’s because I loathe the feeling of sticky skin but my tolerance for summer heat is very short.
If I’m being completely honest, I prefer rainy days, foggy mornings, and a chill in the air frosty enough to plume your breath.
Not for the first time I find myself asking why I live in the devil’s armpit known as the Central Valley because I am clearly not suited for this level of lung-curling dry heat (and to be clear, I don’t like wet heat either. The south can keep its sopping humidity to itself, thank you very much).
So, when the temperatures start to slowly change from make-better-choices-so-you-don’t-end-up-in-hell triple digits to hey-is-that-a-hint-of-a-cool-breeze in the evening, I rejoice.
As in, drop to my knees, grinning from ear-to-ear, with hallelujah-level joy.
I look forward to cozy and forgiving yoga pants that don’t judge you for that bacon cheeseburger you had for lunch that was nearly as big as your head and worth the indigestion that immediately followed because your metabolism is officially the equivalent of a cranky old man who constantly yells at people to get off his lawn.
I’m giddy at the thought of curling up with a good book, tucked in a blanket while the rain pours from the sky and thunder rattles the window panes.
Oh, and the fall colors are nothing short of breathtaking. Sure, almond blossoms are nice but the fire in the turning leaves is downright mesmerizing.
To me, it’s all magical — and let’s face it, we need some kind of wonder in our lives right now because everything else feels like a cockroach sandwich.
I came across a TikTok (my newest and unapologetically addictive pastime) saying that the oak trees are foretelling a secret, something our ancestors used to know but we lost the knowledge when technology took over.
The rain is coming — and lots of it.
Supposedly, the acorns are already popping up in record numbers and folklore and science are calling this phenomenon a “Mast” year. A Mast year signals a wet, rainy season is coming. The massive seed event starts a circle of life that goes like this: more acorns=more rodents storing seeds=more predators feasting=more acorns left in the ground to grow into oaks.
Apparently, oaks require specific conditions to grow, which include a super wet spring season.
Ordinarily, oak trees are not my favorite. I prefer higher elevation pines to oaks but if the oaks are promising buckets of rain, I might need to adjust my preferences.
With California in a nasty drought, the potential of lots of rain is not only good for my mental health but super good for our parched state.
So yeah, bring on the hoodies, cooler nights, and dazzling autumn colors — fall is my jam.
Who’s with me?
Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide occasional columns.