Who Knew?

I’m going through some older posts, re-working them a bit and I’ll be putting them out for different writing prompts and invitations. This one is for The Red Dress Club’s ‘a favorite blog’ invitation. This was originally written in January of ’09. It might be helpful to know that I live on the central coast of California…
When I got my first really good 35mm camera almost 12 years ago, I jumped into my car and started chasing the sunset. It was May, and the sky was beautiful.

I really wanted to try my hand at some pictures of the sun setting over the Pacific, so I started driving to see if I could find a good viewpoint to do just that. Well, I ended up driving all the way up to Gaviota (about 50 miles from our home) and even there, no luck.
Well, duh. In the springtime, the sun sets much further to the northwest than it does in the winter. It took me a while to figure it out. The great sunset shots happen between November and March.

But here’s something I just learned today.

The sun also RISES over the water in the wintertime in Santa Barbara.
Why did it take me so long to learn this piece of the geographic puzzle that is our strange little peninsula here on the central coast of California?
Well….let’s put it this way. I am not what is commonly referred to as ‘a morning person.’ I’m just getting recharged about 9:00 p.m. and can read/write/watch tv/crochet until 12:30 or 1:00 with little problem.
However…in the morning – ahem – I much prefer the warmth of my bed to any other airspace until about 8:00 or 8:30.

But today, my husband was traveling to Chicago. By himself. In the middle of one of the coldest winters in recent years. And he’s been nervous about it for about 2 weeks. When my husband is nervous, he’s a lot harder to live with than when he’s his usual mellow self.

Cranky, short-tempered, worried about strange details, easily put-upon. And he’s not an easy traveler in the best of times. He loves destinations – big time. But the getting there is tough. It’s hard for most of us, I suppose. But somehow, his particular nervous system struggles with travel days more than mine.
I decided to remove one small piece of his nervousness by driving him to the airport at 6:00 a.m. today, and I’ll pick him up tomorrow night.

So, I dropped him off, and began to drive back toward Montecito.

And I noticed that the sky was beginning to pink up a little bit. So, I took the nearest off-ramp, drove through a MacDonald’s to get something warm to eat, and headed out toward the bluffs of Shoreline Park.
Oh, my. What an absolutely exhilarating experience!
It was cold (for these parts), just over 40 degrees, clear as a bell, and the small Santa Barbara fishing fleet was just setting out for the deeper waters of the channel.
The pelicans were skimming the water, as were a few coots. And as the sun began to rise, the reflection on the water began to take on shades and stripes of coral and soft orange, mixed with the dark teal of the water itself. It was just stunning.

Once again, I am so grateful to be living in this part of the world, to have the ocean within minutes of our home, to enjoy the animal and bird life that congregates here, to gaze at the contrast between rocky hills and lapping sea.

And to see the sun over the water at both ends of the day.

Get a personal letter from Diana twice a month

Sign up for *More Wondering. . . * a monthly personal letter from Diana to you, available only to email subscribers. As thanks, receive a copy of Diana's new ebook,30 Ways of Aging Gracefully.

powered by TinyLetter

To receive blog posts in your inbox, sign up below.


  1. Wow, your photographs are beautiful! We live in the South Bay, and my husband graduated from UCSB. We love the Santa Barbara area. Thank you for capturing its beauty and sharing it with those of us who can’t be there as often as we’d like.

  2. Thanks, Melissa. It is a beautiful place to live, that’s for sure. Actually, almost anywhere on the CA coast is a pretty phenomenal and blessed place to live – so enjoy the South Bay, too.