Almost to a person, if you ask an East-Coast transplant who now lives west of the Mississippi what he or she misses the most, the answer will be: the change of the seasons. More pointedly, most everyone longs for fall foliage, something that is seen in California, but is sort of like setting off a firecracker after watching fireworks.
There are, indeed, seasons in California. They just lack the drama one finds elsewhere. They are filled with lovely hues and subtle tones. Partly what we lack is the utter relief that one feels at the end of a sweltering summer or bitter winter. I often regale friends with old tales of college spring fever, that heady mixture of spring scents, soft breezes, and young love. If you haven't suffered through winter, you've never really known true spring fever.
There is more to the change of seasons than cold-to-hot and green-to-brown. Each change reminds us of the perpetual nature of things. It instills a sense of renewal, of optimism, of balance and perspective. There is a perpetual quality to the change of light that accompanies each season.
The camera is keenly aware of the nature of light and is a marvelous tool in the exploration of seasonal change. While our mind tends to normalize the quality of light, the camera does not. It will showcase warmth or coolness, clarify and differentiate the differences that each day or season may bring. The high or low angle of light becomes apparent when viewing most any photo. Soft, harsh, boring, or dramatic, the light of day blossoms behind the lens.
With time, the camera teaches us to see things its way even when it is packed away in its case. We learn to see with new clarity. The seasons become sweeter, each day more precious. No two days are exactly alike to the camera. Each one is a new opportunity to bring light into our life.