9 06 2011

Crane Beach. Often listed as one of the best beaches in the country.

It’s in Ipswich. Less than half an hour’s drive from my home. And it’s a beautiful drive past farms, lovely antique homes, and the Great Marsh. As close as it is, I don’t get down there enough. To tell you the truth, I could be there every day, and it still wouldn’t be enough.

The water’s usually too cold for swimming, but I can sit and watch the waves roll in for hours. The sunburn on the tops of my feet attest to the fact that I did just that on Memorial Day. But in addition to the wave action, the horizon is a particular fascination of mine.

What’s the big deal? The horizon is simply where it appears the water meets the sky. It doesn’t, of course. This is a optical illusion caused by the curvature or the earth. That is, if you believe the earth is round; I’m sure the flat-earth people have their own explanation.

Just like the sea itself, the horizon has different moods. Sometimes it is so sharp it almost cuts the eyes. On other, cloudier, days the line is blurred, the bluegray water dissolving into the paler sky. On a recent visit to the beach, it was impossible to differentiate between water and sky. The ambiguity was dizzying. My brain wanted a point of reference, but there was none.

When I look to the future, I see the horizon… sometimes sharp, usually blurred, occasionally completely obscured.