Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Santa Ana Connection

Wind oh wind

Long ago, in a place far from California at an age far from now, I was walking around my neighborhood with my crazy, beautiful, world-traveling aunt. She's no longer with us, and the world is less luminous because of that. It was a cool autumn evening, just that temperature where a kid doesn't quite want or need a jacket, but almost. I think she was telling me stories about her extended trip to Japan (she had brought me stuff, a fish kite, some toys, hanafuda cards). Then this hot, dry wind started blowing. Steady and strong, almost relentless, and the contrast of it across my skin, which had felt chilled just the moment before, then warmed by it, startled me, in a good way. She noticed it, too, and said to me, "That reminds me of the Santa Ana winds in California." 

I had never been to California at that point, so coming from her, my crazy-beautiful aunt fresh in from Japan, this Santa Ana wind feeling took on even more significance for me. It's a boyhood memory that has stuck with me, and I suppose is connected with ongoing addiction to hot, dry winds, either those encountered while walking around the neighborhood, or, those hot, dry winds easily created by riding a bicycle in Phoenix. Tonight on my bicycle commute, I felt those self-made winds flowing over me, and thought, "Santa Ana." Missing my aunt, loving the memory of her, I bent lower, and made the wind blow stronger.


  1. That's a nice post, JRA. I imagine your aunt would have appreciated it. Riding my bike reminds me often of my father, who died nearly ten years ago:

    1. Invisible, thanks, I think if she could see how much I enjoy cycling she would think I am crazy, and that might please her.


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