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.
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.
The random collection of pebbles on the beach, scattered by nature, each unique.
The swirls of clouds making patterns in the sky.
The colours of the sea winding a path on the sand.
And then Charlotte and Sophie find the treasure, that another beach visitor has left behind.
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.
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.