This is what fall looks like in San Diego. Yes, I know, we must all keep our chin up! Those of us who are lucky enough to call this city "home" refer to this time of year as "Local's Summer" because it is amazing...waves are often good, water temp is perfect, the warm santa ana winds from the desert blow towards the ocean making the beach air hot & the conditions offshore....and the tourists have gone home, so the beaches have half the crowds of the busy summer months.
But none the less, this is the start of fall in my neck of the woods and I love it. Kids are back in school, routines are falling back into place, and many of us embrace the change after a wonderful, yet long summer. Growing up on the East Coast...I always loved fall and the "feeling" I got when the season started to change. Over the last 22 years in San Diego, I've tried to re-capture that same feeling through trips to Julian (our local San Diego Mountain town) to see the leaves change, or to pick apples, but in reality, it's ALWAYS still really warm (and sweaty!), making it just really different than the chilly temps & crunchy leaf piles that my hometown in Maryland always provided.
I realized lately though that I've stopped wanting fall to be like what it used to....because I've fallen into a groove of loving our San Diego fall. It's a season that naturally represents change as we all anticipate the weather getting cooler, the ocean temps dipping, denim and sweaters, the chill on Halloween night, and the arrival of the holiday season. But for me, those feelings of change really run a lot deeper. This is the season that I welcomed both my babies into the world and also said goodbye to a dear grandmother. The memories I have standing on the beach, days away from birth, watching overhead surf roll in and strong Santa Ana winds blow...warm my soul, and are engrained in my brain with a smile. It's also the season when I discovered the work of Redirecting Children's Behavior and the light returned to my parenting world, which had gotten really dark after a tough run with a 2nd colicky baby & a toddler going through a challenging season.
So every year, at this time, I get so excited to welcome this season of change. Even though I've grown to know better that it probably won't be chilly or exactly like my young heart remembers, it represents hope & new life to me now....and really good waves, family beach days and yes, of course...iced pumpkin spiced lattes!