In California, fall isn't like it is on the east coast. Most years, a line-up of maples planted along half a block get a little giddy and turn a pretty orange. If I limit my field of vision to just that section of street and squint my eyes, and it's an overcast day that highlights the color, I can imagine it's a real fall. I have a good imagination. But I keep walking and it's over too soon.
This year, however, it really feels like fall! It looks like fall! It smells like fall! I'm happy. On Thanksgiving Day, two men were standing in front of our house photographing the tree across the street with the longest lens I've ever seen. It was about two feet long. I finally asked them what they were doing, and the photographer answered he'd never seen a tree with red, orange and gold leaves. I'm glad I'm from the east coast. I'm glad I know what true fall is. And I'm glad I get to have some of it for real this year in California. Watching the leaves let go of the tree and float down. My feet crunching them as I walk. The kids collected them from all around the neighborhood in a bag like they were gold. And they are.