Thursday, November 09, 2006

First autumn with colors



My first autumn in the south is incredible. I am finally living in a place with real seasons; leaves that change colors and fall; crisp, cold days; thunderstorms; and the absence of the sultry, summer humidity. For the first time in my life, I am living in a place that feels like it has tradition and order and regularity. Sonora—definitely not. My hometown is a mishmash of thrown together buildings, and un-traditionalism. It still carries a very prominent feeling of wild-west-ish disregard. I am finally letting go of San Luis Obispo, my college town and last place of residence. I had a love affair with the town, and it will always hold a dear spot in my heart. But it, too, is not a town of tradition, values, or stability. It is transient, changing every five years or so, as new college students drift in and out, sucked in by the beauty, and hoping to extend their education there so they can hold on the SLO reverie for just a little longer. But I feel like living here I have finally made it somehow; I have discovered the Americana that I have only seen in movies and a few TV shows. There are brick buildings that have been standing for generations and houses that don’t get torn down every few years. The streets are old and narrow and funky and have a charming character. There are parks and small lakes flanked by trails for jogging and biking. The old districts in town are especially charming. Houses in the “rich” section are not plastic and shiny, but old and statuesque. I have yet to go inside one of the houses in the old money section, but I imagine that the floors creak and the walls echo sounds as the house settles. The streets are lined with old, tall trees that have seen history here. They are not the result of a developer or landscape architect attempting to beautify an area. People rake leaves in their yards and leave the piles on the sidewalks to be picked up by county trucks. It is all so charming and the oldness of it, new, to me, that I still walk around awestruck. As much as I love it here, I am glad that I wasn’t raised here because I doubt that I would be able to appreciate it. It is lovely to become enamored with such simple things as colorful leaves that fall and get raked into piles.

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