Monday, May 21, 2018

The Four Seasons

No, it’s not the piece by Vivaldi nor the restaurant in New York. It’s the four basic weather groups of San Francisco—Fog, Sun, Rain, Wind.

The Fog in summer is delightfully romantic. If you live in Berkeley and can see it swirling from afar as you sunbathe on your deck. Inside of it for weeks on end, it’s just plain annoying. For this transplanted East Coaster, summer is not supposed to be like this.

But the up side is that we generate a lot of revenue selling sweatshirts to freezing tourists. And when the fog is behaving itself, it does tend to burn off by the afternoon.

Now the Sun in the Fall is simply a treasure. For maybe four or five days, it cranks up hot enough to dip into the ocean and the night streets of San Francisco are bustling with action. Such a rare pleasure to sit outside for dinner without a heat lamp. Hands down, it’s my season of choice.

The winter Rains have their good sides. First off, we need water. Lots of it. The hills turn green, we flush our toilets without guilt, the snow sports folks are in white heaven up in the Sierras and let’s face it, there is something cozy and meditative sitting in the shelter of one’s home with the sound of raindrops, a hot beverage and a good book.

And then we come to Spring and the last of the four elements—Wind. And after battling it for the last week—and a cold wind at that—I’m having trouble thinking of a single good thing to say about it. When we should be picnicking in the park reciting poetry to the daffodils, it’s blowing us around, scattering our paper cups and plates and bags and generally making it impossible to relax and soak in a moment’s peace and quiet. It’s like having a severe ADHD pack of kids bouncing around you when you’re trying to count a breath or two. 

And let’s face it, San Francisco has a litter problem and the wind whipping it all around and up and over and under and hither and thither does not help matters. And while I’ve come to accept and even enjoy the challenge of the city’s hills when biking, I find nothing charming about biking headfirst into the wind or being almost blown over by an unexpected gust from the side. And unlike the fog that eventually lifts, the wind seems to keep at it all day long and into the evening.

Of course, it’s fruitless to complain about the weather, but hey, Mr. Wind, can you just give it a rest here? Give us a few calm and warm Spring days before the Fog rolls in? Please?

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