Time. It is only the trappings of our culture that give us the ability to locate ourselves in time.
As I stood upon the headland and gazed towards the receding coastline it was hard to determine whether I was looking forwards or backwards. But looking geographically it definitely wasn't. I had this strong sense of a time when we were not the ruling class, when the landscape was raw and subject to the violence of huge change and Papa sat back and let Ruamoko vent his feelings.
Of great and fantastical creatures roaming the landscape asserting the dominance that size can bring. Or not. Oh how the mighty did fall, succumbing to the ravages of Mother Nature, and leaving new species to colonise and inhabit and prey and dominate. And fall.
And this coast could look the same. Then. Now. 100, 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. If we let it.