Two hundred million years ago, formosan corals constructed vast reefs upon the ocean floor that would one day become the island of Taiwan. Colonies of polyps rose and fell, building their calcite castles upon the ruins of their predecessors. The weight of each successive generation pressed the sedimentary remnants of their ancestors into the ocean floor, cementing their colorful history in layers of smokey white limestone.
Several epochs later, the collision between two titanic chunks of the earth's crust, the Eurasian and the Philippine Sea tectonic plates, thrust Taiwan up from the ocean floor and into the atmosphere. The force from this colossal impact metamorphized Taiwan's limestone foundation into swirling orange, azure, and white marble. This marble lay locked in the heart of Taiwan's jagged mountains until the turquoise waters of the Shakadang River carved it out, revealing the legacy of the formosan corals.
Marveling at the color and form of this rock I cannot help but wonder about the metamorphosis from coral to marble. What was the coral before it was coral? What will it be after it is marble? What were we before we were we? What will our legacy be?