I step lightly on the demarcation of generations--old and new, living and dead--as I wander along this deserted Cuban shoreline in 2016, The rocks above the waterline show the ruin of what was once a thriving community of old-growth coral. These external skeletons of brain coral and star coral remain in place as worn monuments of a past life.
But just below the surface of the water here, a new generation of living coral reef clings tenaciously to the sea bottom. These coral polyps are young, spawning, and sentient creatures struggling in a harsh environment to establish a new natural order. As the veil of saltwater flows over these two generations with each ebb and flood of storm and tide, I am reminded how closely those of us who walk upright are connected to the nature surrounding us.
Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba
Where in the World?
A photograph taken at first glance is merely a snapshot, a static memory with little or no meaning. Maritime landscapes evolve. The story about what we are seeing takes time to develop. This passage of time can occur in moments, but in other environments the narrative takes time to mature.
The image from this isolated beach in Western Cuba evolved during the full transition from high tide to low, and the story became about much more than just a picture of a pile of rocks on a shoreline.
We always see more clearly when we move more slowly.