Tuesday December 31, 2013 | 08:39 AM
Posted by Harold Johnson

As 2013 closes out, reflections naturally lap back in. We remember New Years’ celebrations past, and the highs & lows of the past year. We think on the clean slate laid out before us.

The spiral of life takes us back to the same points year after year. But takes us there with new perspective each time.

Every New Year the same, every New Year different.

The changing years are very much like the changing tides. The high waves scour the sand, wipe clear all the built-up tracks, prints, raindrops. And then recede, bit by bit. Yet they never leave the beach exactly as it was before. The slope changes. The sand changes. The wrackline changes.

Every tide the same, every tide different.

And as each tide goes out, it leaves behind its story. If you have the privilege of strolling an untouched shore in the low winter light, you can read the tale.

I saw this on Saturday, a little bit after noon.

High tide had come with the dawn. After devouring a thin layer of snow & frost, it was long gone. But it had left its memory imprinted on the sand. Wave after receding wave, working their way down, down, down the foreshore. Tugged back down the beach by the pull of the moon, 200,000 miles away. Each leaving its calling card in a tiny meandering line.

I stopped for a bit and read the story. Wave by wave. In a couple places I was able to count some 35 individual waves. Waters that had crested and splashed into the very spot I was standing, just hours before.

Now long gone, yet still in a way there.

Just like every year that’s passed us by.

Happy New Year, and thank you to all who have read this blog and continue to give it and me encouragement!

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About the Author

Visiting a Maine beach in March 2010, Harold Johnson was shocked by the ocean-borne debris left by recent storms. He grabbed a garbage bag and a camera, and hasn’t looked back.

Since then he has spent most of his free time studying marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, and the mysteries and science of ocean and shore.

Copyeditor and writer by trade, historian and archaeologist at heart, Johnson’s philosophy is simple: Dig below the surface, travel the currents, make the connections, learn. Then share what you learn. He lives in Saco with his wife and young daughter. Follow on Twitter @FlotsamDiaries.

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013


October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

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