Cicada Summer

June 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

During the summer, I run door-to-door political outreach offices, building public support before the legislative session kicks into high gear in the fall. I’ve done this for seven summers in SF, San Diego, Berkeley, and Palo Alto, working to make sure we have clean water, open spaces, affordable healthcare, and other nice things.

If you’re following along, all of those places are in California. This summer, I’m running my first office in the east coast, and I’ll tell ya, it’s a different ball game.

There are obvious differences in weather (light coats versus stripped down to skivvies whenever possible) and politics (“No I don’t want to volunteer, I’m writing you a check so you can do this for me!”), that seem trivial at face value. Notable, but hardly earthshattering.

Intellectually, you know that “water” and “trees” are real things in places that aren’t deserts, but practically, it changes everything about how I’ve perceived and felt about my environment. Evenings aren’t quiet light sweater weather – good for a glass of wine on a rooftop – anymore, they’re mosquito prime time, draped in a layer of heavy humidity – good for shitty beer and barbeque. Mid-day isn’t the time the sun peeks over the fog, sharp and piercing hot – the only good time to go to the beach, they’re an ocean in the very air you’re breathing or a flash thunderstorm, warm and refreshing.

And the bugs! Cicadas chipper in every moment, clinging to doormats and littering driveways. Tiger mosquitoes, black and white striped, hunt in all hours of the day. Lightening bugs flash one light, then many, harbinger to the nightime cousin of the tiger skeeter.

Waterways are warm – a rarity you get in few places outside of central valley California – but as often polluted as water in California is cold. It’s a false positive each time, but a good reason to keep knocking on doors, talking about toxics.


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