At the beach – sweet memories rise out of the depths. They surface like a wrecked ship miraculously aroused and setting sail.

The names of the shells, the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides. The pull of the current. The fishermen. The sweet, pungent smell pushed through the air along with the sea gulls and ribbons of pelicans.

It is a home – a returning home. The children dig and squeal and swim and giggle and gather shells and sing –

We have warm skin and golden hair. The boats bounce by, the birds dive for dinner. A sand crab snacks on a beached jellyfish. George Wilder is mesmerized. He sets up an oyster shell to shade the crab while he snacks on jelly slime while Amelia searches for shells I taught her to find. A year has passed and the names roll off her tongue . . . pirates booty, key hole, baby’s ear, conch, lady slipper, moon shell, olive shells.

The ocean is in her too. It is retrieved from the depths and brought home in bags and buckets. Loads of bags and buckets. She shares them with our friends Donna and Jack, who in turn share waffles and homemade ice cream!!

Another full day of tides and waves and shells and sand. The children establish routine quickly as they prance around like a king and queen in a royal palace. This is their domain. Any creature that dares to enter their kingdom is captured and carefully cared for until lunchtime.

George Wilder fearlessly ducks under the ferocious waves and stands to go again while Amelia holds vigil on shore content to weave in and out of the white foam clinging to the sand . . .


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