Though technically months away, my favorite season of the year approaches. In other parts of the United States, it would be called springtime or even summer, but here in Central California we call it winter.
Apart from some temporarily barren trees, the natural world thrives and — in better years — normally empty riverbeds flow with life-giving water. The seasons of Advent and Christmas heat hearts even as temperatures chill. I love the flexible aesthetics and comfort found in layers of clothing, and the ability to feel the sharp slap of cold air while warm at one’s core.
It is a time of life and the romance of raindrops on shelter or skin, the art of delicate frozen frosting on grass blades and windows, and the mystery and — admittedly— peril of unpredictable mists.
Our winter begins with fog, frosts, and rain, yet ends with blooms. By the time North American spring officially arrives, most of the local flowering has finished and the slow dehydration of the landscape has begun. The climax of the dry and golden-hued days of summer reminds us we live in irrigated deserts and drained wetlands...