If I were back in Maine, I'd probably take my coffee mug, wrap myself in a scarf or two (and a hat, gloves, boots, knee socks, tights, jeans, a small brown sweater, a lumpy grey one, and large black peacoat), and I'd walk out the two doors to my second story apartment, turn down Vesper Street, and head towards the water by Munjoy Hill.
The sky would be a tumultuous blend of blue, white, and grey. The wind would be blowing, hard. I'd grip my silver mug tightly between my gloved hands, willing the warmth to reach my frozen fingers.
The sea, a mass of grey also, would chop and swirl, beckoning the coming storm. It would be so very different from the same sea I saw in September. Back then the trees on the hill were thick with verdant leaves. I rode the Schwinn bike from the basement, the one my landlord fixed up free of charge, and I'd take it all along the little paths leading down to East End Beach, stopping to lean against a picnic table and climb the last fruitful tree with the last bunch of good apples. I'd prop my legs around a supporting branch, like straddling a horse, and eat two or three or four apples, dropping their cores to the ground below. People walking past would hear the sound and look up at me sitting there, and smile.
But in November, as it is now, the views would have changed.
The trees are most likely bare, the sailboats are gone, the islands appear desolate, and I would no longer want to take a canoe to paddle out and discover them. They are frightening, floating alone in that discordant sea.
I would continue making my way down the hill, slipping on the first pools of ice, stopping to crouch and stare, poking their centers with my boot, marveling over the new natural phenomenon that is "cold."
And when I finally reached the water, a friend would come to meet me. She with her tea and me with my coffee, we'd run to the water and kick the lapping waves with our Wellies, and pick out rocks the shape of hearts, and link arms and tell secrets in whispers, and dream of what life could be like if we stayed in such a place. I knew I wouldn't, in the end. It was dramatic and beautiful and profound, but if I stayed, I may never leave.
So for now, I must be content, in California, missing Maine.