Gathering Fog on Tomales Bay, July 5, 2016
I am grateful for a house on the Point Reyes National Seashore. Days are rich in the prism of colors that annunciate sunrise and sunset. Bright skies this morning shift to mild fog rising like a slow-motion leviathan ghost creeping across the backs of the pinch-pressed peaks of this geological wonderland. Mountains shoved up at all angles from tectonic action as the North American and Pacific plates dance together, not always harmoniously. The beauty of the pleats of Black Mountain are explained in scientific poetry in US Geological Survey documents as “The Miocene and Pliocene sedimentary rock formations folded into a broad syncline with a northwest-trending axis running between Inverness Ridge and Point Reyes.” The local nicknames describe the compressed crests as Knuckle and Elephant Mountain more accurately. It is the tallest roll of mountain just right of center. Our house is nestled into Inverness Ridge at the base of Mount Vision. I lie in bed until afternoon reading about sea turtles on my first solo summer vacation day. After lunch in Point Reyes Station I stop along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, midway down Tomales Bay, and watch as the fog unfolds slowly, rotating the lighting below as if in a theatrical production, highlighting a tree on one slope, a copse of birch trees on a point, then glowing through thin patches of fog for dramatic punctuation. I frame a panoramic view of this eastern scene at sunset. The barren foreground seems a metaphor of the dark challenges, losses, disappointment at our feet nestled into the history of our experience, and yet fog slowly parts to shine on the illuminated destination of a more luminous future in the distance. I am betting with the currency of gratitude and optimism on the richness of the now, and the promise of tomorrow in the distance.