Here near the beach is one of the few places not on fire right now. The hills are flaming. The valleys are full of smoke. We are safe here on the beach for now despite the ashes on the deck of our beach house.
Last night after dinner, when the fog and smoke had blown off, and the wind had calmed down we walked along the beach.
My husband and daughter walked along the edge of the surf deep in conversation, solving the problems of the world. I walked along next to them enjoying the sound of the waves and the sand under my feet. We wore our masks, and passed a few other with their dogs and kids.
As we approached the old abandoned pier and ship wreck I could see dark heaps scattered the sand. It could have been driftwood, or clumps of seaweed. Some looked as if giant fish, or the king of the mer-people and his enterage had washed ashore after a great undersea battle.
I saw the shadow shapes from the night before had been driftwood, logs, and matted seaweed. I also saw fewer shapes than the night before. I wondered how high the surf had been to wash away such large objects.
Walking over to where I imagined the mer-king had beached I saw in indentation and it looks as if someone had dragged a large object towards the surf. In the track I found a string, like a broken necklace, made of polished shells and what looked like pearls and gold coins. I picked it up and put it in my pocket.
Near the spot where the object had been I saw a hand print where someone, or something had dragged along the sand. A clump of what looked like long turquoise was tanged in the sand. I put it in my pocket.
When I get home next, away from the beach, I’ll research my finds. In the meantime I’ll dream of the mer-king and wonder if he still swims tonight or if he perished on the beach.
I’ll never know, but then again, you never know about these things. You never know.