Fall is coming to the San Joaquin Valley. Mornings are cool now, and I search for a shawl or sweater when I wake up. Evenings, too, have a softer edge. Darkness falls faster; it carries a touch of wind. Colors change. People, animals and land in the Valley heave a collective sigh of relief. The worst of the blistering, unforgiving heat is over for the year. Many crops are picked. The labor of sweat in the fields and the laboring in sweat in stuffy homes is nearly finished.
And how good it feels to say goodbye to those days when temperatures would climb over 100 degrees F, then over 110 degrees… Now, suddenly, the weather dips and slams down to the 60’s during the day and 50’s at night. Old timers tell me there’s few days with in-between temperatures here. Since this morning, grey clouds have gathered over the horizon in Fresno like sentries. Soon, tule fog will move in and coat the Valley floor, causing daydreams and accidents.
I like this weather. I can feel a change in my body – a slowing down of energy, a folding in, calmness. This after the heady expansion, ebullience and stamina of summer. Fall brings on reflection, melancholy, an ache for equilibrium. A pause. An adding up of what we have done, what we have become this year. So I welcome the coolness, the grace of a fog named after the tule grass that pushes thick in California’s wetlands.