As the sun goes down on another week here at SDSU, the feeling of the end of summer and beginning of fall can be sensed just on the horizon. Today marks the Autumn Equinox; or the official start of fall. What is the equinox you ask? Well, the equinox happens in both the fall and spring, marking when the Earth’s axis is not tilting towards or away from the sun; the sun is shinning directly on the equator of the earth. The term “equinox” refers to the fact that on these two days a year, the day is equally split between day and night. The Autumn Equinox will take place on September 22nd with the sun being at its highest point at 2:49pm.
In San Diego, the signal of the start of fall is marked not by actual season change, but rather more subtle means. Pumpkins at the grocery store, pumpkin spice at Starbucks, and the countless Halloween stores that spring up during this time. Living in San Diego during the summer is great, but part of me wishes for the fall and winters I grew up with.
See the start of fall was a more direct signal for me growing up. Where the flash of yellow and red from the changing of the leaves accompanies the start of fall. The bright leaves cover the roads and for a few weeks you feel like you are driving on sunshine. Where the smell of real pumpkins can be smelled through every store and home. And the taste of homemade pumpkin pie is just one short sunset away. Where the start of hot cocoa nights curled up on the couch with family approaches nearer and nearer. And the changing of the wind is seen as a beacon to the start of soccer Saturdays. But the fall that I come from is now just a distant memory of a time past. However, the town of Julian just east of here serves as a temporary substitute. Filled with the same stores and mom and pop shops that I used to frequent as a little kid, but there is always something deep inside that is missing. It wasn’t my town. The shops were the same but the people were different. The parks that I used to run around on as a little kid were not the same. It was a substitute. Plain and simple. A reminder of what waits for me just one plane flight away, beyond the horizon.