The wet seaweed full of sand. I gathered it up, admiring the texture and subtle colors, remembering as a child how I could hardly stand to look at it, let alone touch it. With seaweed in hand I walked back to my brother's campsite, Molly (my five year old niece) ran up to me. When she saw the seaweed she asked what I was going to do with it.
"I am going to make a seaweed crown... do you want to wear it?" I was certain she would shake her head no, then run and hide. Instead she said, "Like a little mermaid?"
How original, how imaginative! "Why yes like a little mermaid! Can I take a picture of you when you have it on?"
I pointed to a nearby fence and started to walk towards it. Though once Molly realized that I was planning to take her picture by the fence, she tugged at my hand and exclaimed, "Aunt Coco mermaids don't sit by wooden fences! They sit at the edge of the sea. They need water you know!"
Oh I love this child! She sure knows how to grab my heart. I reminded her that the sea was a good walk away... she nodded and we headed in its direction. Once there she found a pile of seaweed and sat on it. Then told me to sit down in front of her. I looked out at the grey sea then at Molly. She didn't smile instead gave me her impression of a mermaid washed ashore and what it was like to feel the sandy earth beneath her.
I asked her if she was sad. "No mermaids aren't sad, they love the sea and dancing in the waves.... sometimes they come to shore and make a seaweed crown... but they have to return to the sea you know."
With that said, she stood up and ran towards the sea. I can still hear her laughing when I close my eyes.