Half-Light #3 for WPC-the Woody


So what’s a Woody station wagon got to do with half light?? Well, growing up in the town of Pacific Beach in San Diego, if you were a true, pre-popular craze surfer, you would be up each morning at Half-Light, to high tail it down to the beach for the best and least crowded waves of the day. A tourist to the area might look out a motel window and see weird dark shapes bobbing up and down way out beyond the shore break. They might even mistake them for a flock of strange sea birds out there. Nope. Those were the most dedicated wave-riding artists…waiting for their wave…however long it took.

“Surfing is one of the oldest practiced sports on the planet. The art of wave riding, is a blend of total athleticism and the comprehension of the beauty and power of nature. Surfing is also one of the few sports that creates its own culture and lifestyle.” 


No idea who first used a Woody station wagon to drag surfboards to the beach but it became the vehicle associated with the surfing culture.


The following info from http://www.carponents.com/content/surfs-up-with-the-woodie-one-of-americas-most-iconic-cars-176

“In the early 60’s, Surfers, who spent their days riding those bodacious California waves all afternoon always seemed to be strapped-for-cash.  In need of an inexpensive form of transportation, they found they could buy woodies cheap, and that they were perfect for lugging around the long 10-12 foot wooden surfboards of the day long. 

While not really their goal, surfers prolonged the lives of countless Woodies.  It was something of a California oddity but surfers didn’t actually restore their wagons, they couldn’t afford to.  They simply kept them going.  Groups like the Beach Boys in songs like ‘Surfing Safari’ began to mention and immortalize Woodies in their lyrics, about how they were loaded up with boards and friends and driven to the California Coast and they forever became ingrained as a beloved icon of the surfing community as more and more were adopted by the laid back, fun loving culture.  The connection between surfing and Woodies became permanent.
  It’s also said that surfers were the ones who coined the term ‘woodie’. “

Now here’s the sort of personal part. For some reason, when I was a very small child, we had a Woody parked inside our fenced back yard. I honestly don’t remember why or where it came from. I don’t remember ever riding in it, although we did have another station wagon, a white mercury with red trim and red leather interior, that we rode in a lot. That Mercury was the transportation for many of the childhood adventures my Dad provided for his daughters. Most of those adventures involved deserted country roads with us riding on the opened tailgate, strapped in for safety with a make-shift rope “safety belt”. But we never rode in the Woody.

Maybe Dad had the foresight to know that old Woody was a good investment. I do remember it sitting out there until well into my adulthood. Sometimes, when I was visiting my father, a later version of a young surfer would ring Dad’s doorbell to ask about that old car in his yard. My sisters might know what happened to the old Woody. I don’t.

And here’s the really personal part. Many times as a child (according to family legend, as young as four and five years old) I would be discovered before first light, out in the back yard, with my pillow and blanket from my bed, sitting on the hood of that old Woody, all bundled up and leaning back against the perfectly slanted windshield…..doing WHAT, the adults could never figure out.

It’s no mystery to me. Though I don’t remember specifically thinking about this, I’m sure it started out as escape. Maybe if I woke up early enough, and “ran away” to the back yard, I wouldn’t have to start on all those chores no five, six or seven year old should be responsible for (changing diapers, cleaning up, making breakfast, etc.)

And to my lifelong delight, I imprinted on mother nature from those Half-Light escapes, on the absolute beauty and wonder of it all, even the most simple of its forms.

I still love the earliest morning, with its slow but dramatic light changes, the songs of awakening birds-in the spring full orchestras-and the emerging hints about weather for the day. These days, I rarely need it for “running away”, but nothing grounds me more solidly and spiritually onto the earth than sitting outside in the half-light, in almost any weather, eavesdropping on the world as it wakes up.




Half-Light #2 for WPC


I am not a poet. I am barely a writer at all. Well, for fun, I torment my family members or closet friends by occasionally writing them a really bad limerick. If I am going to be impacted by poetry it is usually in the form of the lyrics to a great song. The one that came immediately to mind for this week’s topic was Jackson Browne’s “Looking East”. My favorite Half-Light is sunrise (looking east).

Powerful song. Great poetry. If you allow songwriters to qualify as poets.

Have a listen (and a look-it’s a lovely video) when you get a minute.

Here are the words so you can read along.

Standing in the ocean with the sun burning low in the west
Like a fire in the cavernous darkness at the heart of the beast
With my beliefs and possessions, stopped at the frontier in my chest
At the edge of my country, my back to the sea, looking east

Where the search for the truth is conducted with a wink and a nod
And where power and position are equated with the grace of God
These times are famine for the soul while for the senses it’s a feast
From the edge of my country, as far as you see, looking east

Hunger in the midnight, hunger at the stroke of noon
Hunger in the mansion, hunger in the rented room
Hunger on the TV, hunger on the printed page
And there’s a God-sized hunger underneath the laughing and the rage
In the absence of light
And the deepening night
Where I wait for the sun
Looking east

How long have I left my mind to the powers that be
How long will it take to find the higher power moving in me

Power in the insect
Power in the sea
Power in the snow falling silently
Power in the blossom
Power in the stone
Power in the song being sung alone
Power in the wheat field
Power in the rain
Power in the sunlight and the hurricane
Power in the silence
Power in the flame
Power in the sound of the lover’s name
The power of the sunrise and the power of a prayer released
On the edge of my country, I pray for the ones with the least

Hunger in the midnight, hunger at the stroke of noon
Hunger in the banquet, hunger in the bride and groom
Hunger on the TV, hunger on the printed page
And there’s a God-sized hunger underneath the questions of the age
And an absence of light
In the deepening night
Where I wait for the sun
Looking east

Uh oh. Is this allowed???  Inserting a YouTube music video??? I haven’t taken my blogging course yet!

It’s from  https://www.youtube.com/user/SWPLifeIlluminated

(Scott Wright Photography, not the Socialist Workers Party)

Half-Light for WPC


Back ups2 for missing picture folder 042

Apparently, “half-light” is my favorite all-time thing to photograph because when deciding on today’s WPC post, I overwhelmed myself with too many choices.

So I will probably post multiple times this week, but will start with the least obvious.

This was taken at dawn in Sedona at my best friend’s home. She lived out in the Red Rocks, not in the town proper.

There does not seem to be much half-light there. Morning skies went from dark to spectacularly blue and bright, seemingly in seconds, and the reverse happened at sundown.


One last “Dance”




This is as close as I could get to the precious Dancing picture I lost. Tad, helping Lucy rise from her chair, the prolonged, swaying “hug” while she got her footing, and then always, when she was finally balanced, she would look into his eyes and smile, silently thanking him. A witness to this could easily feel their 60 plus years in love together, with goose bumps and a throat lump….

Morning Dance for WPC

Morning treesDance

Every day I’m here at home, I go outside onto my deck (huge because it is actually the flat roof over my old garage) to feed my Crows. (That is another post. As I am writing this, they are yelling at me to come out there with their breakfast…but I digress from my digression…)

Each morning, I stand in the shadow of my house, facing West and the early sun hits these tree tops long before it warms my deck.

A few days ago, I noticed something. These trees, even when there is no detectable breeze, bend and sway and ripple like they are dancing. Of course, the new theme “dance” had just been introduced so I probably had that on my mind.

I have had a powerful relationship with trees though, all my life. My Dad, when I was four years old, planted a Star Pine tree in our front yard so it could “grow up with me”. I first found God sitting on a fallen tree in the forest at 4th grade church camp. Later, in my early twenties, I discovered, forgave and accepted my body, stripped naked in the Redwoods. James and I camped along Avenue of the Giants on a long Harley road trip a few years back. Heaven.

And I chose my long-time home based on its surrounding trees.

But yesterday morning…I had an overwhelming and new sensation….these trees, planted as saplings, have been dancing for me, waving at me, to say “Good Morning Kathie” for almost 40 years now.

How have I not seen this before?

Wedding Dance for WPC


She (in red) comes from a Dancing Family. Her Dad (my adopted one), her brother (my best friend), and her brand new, after 17 years together, husband (lower right), all jumping at any chance to dance!

On her wedding day, her Mom, bed-ridden with a devastating illness she’d fought off for years, was too ill to attend, so they brought the dancing home for her mother to enjoy!

Her parents had “danced” for as long as they could. They were a stunning Air Force royalty couple in their youth, and deeply in love for more than 60 years. Before her Mom had to live in bed, her father would help her rise from chairs. Arms around her, he would scoop her up to a standing position, and then, for a few beautiful moments, there would be this dance, the two of them rocking back and forth in time to music only they would hear, arms tight around each other, until she was grounded and had her footing.

The most beautiful dance I’ve ever seen……….