I'm reading Wallace Stevens' 'Auroras of Autumn'--actually a lecture about Stevens, which quotes a poem that begins "Lights out. Shades up. / A look at the weather." And I'm looking out the window here in the California Bay Area, where the weather doesn't change very much from day to day. It's always beautiful, pretty much always an ideal temperature, with a cool breeze and blue sky. 

Kind of boring. I miss rainy Vancouver at times, I miss Paris clouds, I miss places where you look out the window at night before you close the shutters or draw the shades and imagine what the look of the sky portends in the way of weather for the following day; or when you get up in the morning and even before you open the shutters, from the tinge of the light that filters through them, or the sound of tires on the pavement outside, you sniff out what the weather is going to be like. The light, the sound--of rain for one, all the things that go with unpredictable weather places.

I'm not being entirely honest. In the south of France, where the weather is a lot like California, our next door neighbour, a farmer, tracks the phases of the moon, and wouldn't dream of planting out lettuce or cutting his hair or nails if the moon is waxing or waning (I forget which, though he has told me many times, and it doesn't upset him in the least that I think this is folklore: he knows he knows better). The weather matters to him, it's linked to his work, he steps out his front door each night, holds the screen open, and looks up at the sky, too, and sees probabilities in the stars that I am not conscious of. So probably there is more weather to be reckoned with, in sunny weather places, than I reckon.

Still, at least for a week or two, when I find myself back in the north, I am glad of the uncertainty. The grey areas.