Friday, December 29, 2006

Sunrise or Sunset?

Sunset or Sunrise?
I’m a left-coast person. When I look at the ocean, I see “west.” This internal compass is part of me, but at times can wreck havoc. Huh? Well, consider that I grew up in San Diego, a nice, west-facing ocean-front city. So, this picture to me is sunset. Sunrise is that rarely-glimpsed phenomenon that occurs over deserts or mountain ranges. When I moved to Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara has a south-facing beach), instead of adjusting to the new location of the ocean, I simply embraced the reality that in Santa Barbara the sun sets in the north. As you face the ocean at dusk, the orangey-pinky sunset residue floating in the sky is on your right. If you’re facing the ocean and the ocean is west, then clearly the sun sets in the north.

Traveling to the east coast has its accompanying perils. For example, you’re driving to the coast. You see the freeway sign, with arrows indicating that east is one direction, west is the opposite. You want to go to the coast. The ocean is west. You turn on the freeway going west and discover a few miles down the road that you’re actually going inland.
Next Entry: Montréal In Winter

2 comments:

pete said...

Hi Gail:

Even as urban (or suburban) folk it's surprising how much we orient ourselves by geography. When I moved from Boston to San Diego, it took a couple of years to get used to the ocean being on the left.

Pat said...

Thank you. I constantly have to remind myself which way is west too.