It’s a good time of year to think about new horizons. This is one of my familiar horizons; it’s from November 14, 2016. Morning horizons are great for thinking about a new day, a new year, or any new start. In this one, bright optimism peeks over Coast Range. On the other end of the horizon, as if to offer the opposing argument, a finger of ground fog infiltrates the space between the clouds above and the sea below.
Sweeping my eye across this scene I’m struck by the sequence of bands extending from from sea to the mountains on the left horizon. First, the gentle foamy swash, then the reflective surface we call the mirror, and a band of wet sand left behind by the falling tide. The drift line is a thin line of debris (here, clumps of eelgrass) separating wet sand from dry. Beyond the reach of tide, dry sand extends to the backshore shelf littered by drift wood. Behind the backshore rises the foredune, stabilized by a monoculture of beachgrass. Beyond the foredune, an unseen estuary, and finally, the ascent of the Coast Range. That’s a bunch of terms and ecosystems, and just the ones below the horizon. How many more could we name? They’re all connected. In the year ahead, my new horizon, I’ll be counting connections.