About this time every year, I start to feel an undeniable sadness and longing. It’s a problem of my own making, and it could easily be remedied by leaving Northern California, but it’s not that easy now that I’ve put down roots here. There would be an all out mutiny in my house if that prospect was ever seriously considered.

Call it seasonal affective disorder for southern ex-pats. It’s this time of year where the longing hits me hardest because of how much I miss a warm summer night. Imagine months of leaving the house at night without a jacket and sitting out on the front porch until bedtime, talking to your friends and neighbors, while perhaps even partaking of a frosty cold adult beverage. I miss that intense heat of a summer day that’s only remedied by a jump in the pool or a quick escape to an air-conditioned house. I miss lightning bugs, the sounds of crickets at dusk and afternoon thunderstorms designed to give you the perfect excuse for having a lazy afternoon with a good book or a long nap, or if you’re really lucky, both.

Today I’m missing the softball size tomatoes I used to get at Aunt Millie’s house after a day at the lake. She’d slice some of those up to go on a BLT and then we’d have a little homemade peach ice cream to finish the supper off. Later, we’d drink iced tea and shell some beans and peas for the next day’s dinner. Then we’d get up the next day and do it all again.

The first 34 years of my life were blessed with seasons, a way to mark the passage of time. There’s something about our life here that feels like limbo to me. There’s not enough variation in the weather to really notice when the seasons are changing. I don’t know how people whose lives aren’t driven by the school calendar even know when a year has passed. So for those of you who might not know, it’s summer now.

With a Perspective, I’m Esther Gulli.

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