Do I stop at the beach?

I have no towels, no changes of clothes or togs for them to splash in. The air still has a chill, the water’s still cold. But I have the car and it’s a short drive home.

The beach is deserted, except for another couple of mothers letting their children run free in and out of the gentle, shallow surf. The tide is out, the sea is calm.

It’s Monday after school pick up. There’s no reason to rush home.

How lucky are we to have such a choice.

I find spades and buckets in the car. Alice says, ‘Dig! Dig!’ with excitement and kicks her legs like a lamb wiggles its tail.

Alice 19 months old Lyall Bay beach

Charlotte runs onto the sand. Sophie, Alice and I follow. We pause and look, admire the view.

‘Run free!’ say I.

A camera in hand Charlotte takes photographs. I love what her eyes see.

Pictures from Charlotte's eyes

The random collection of pebbles on the beach, scattered by nature, each unique.

Charlotte's photo of pebble strewn Lyall Bay one day after school

The swirls of clouds making patterns in the sky.

Sky at Lyall Bay by Charlotte

The colours of the sea winding a path on the sand.

Colours of the sea by Charlotte

And then Charlotte and Sophie find the treasure, that another beach visitor has left behind.

Creative beach treasure

Thank you mystery artist who left such creative treasure for us to find.

The pull of the water finally attracts them. Like iron filings to a magnet they cannot resist. Part mermaid I’m sure they must be.

Too good to resist

Not so long ago they were, like fish, immersed in water for several months, breathing not air through lungs, but through a chord of life.

The sounds of the sea and a Mother’s womb, both so calming and yet stirring too.