All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray

I miss California.

I’m visiting the Golden State on a work-related trip. I genuinely enjoy living in the Midwest, and it’s not like I sit around all year in Michigan pining for California. But I’m always surprised, upon setting foot back in my home state, at how much I still miss it even after nearly a decade in the Midwest.

California just feels different to me than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. The trees are different, the buildings are different, the people are different. The hills and rocks and brush are different. The road signs and streets are different. I’ve learned of late to temper my nostalgia with a healthy dose of realism–California is also crowded, hectic, smoggy, and expensive–but being here is comfortable and familiar.

There’s a Santa Ana today, and the sky–beyond the thick layer of Los Angeles smog, of course–is utterly clear.

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