Tonight on the Beach.
Hello, I say to the tiny woman wandering the beach in front of my house, a large bag slung over her shoulder. An older man and a younger man stand off from her, as if biding time. Her son, home from Moncton and his companion, she later tells me.
Well, hello my darling, she responds, she reminds me of a little robin redbreast, the kind that bounces over the lawn looking for worms. Her face is tan, her eyes bright as blueberries.
We exchange bits of information.
She's out collecting “mermaid's tears” - known as beach glass to the rest of us. Hence the bag. She makes birdhouses covered in beach glass.
All kinds all colours, her garden is fair full of them, she tells me.
My husband died fifteen years ago, she says, and he's been doin' all the sleeping for the rest of us. None of us have time for sleep. Life is too rich, too wonderful, too much to see and do. I've no time for that television business, no time at all.
Me too! I exclaim, it's been over twenty years now without television for me!
Life is out on these beaches, isn't it, she picks up a rock, I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's if it took me away from any one of those stones you see here. I just love this place. She says it with such fervour, I laugh outright.
She has five children, she says, but really six as she raised a grandson when her daughter got “caught” when she was sixteen.
And my dear, isn't he the best of them all. He's a doctor with a practice up in Cornerbrook, and you'd never know it but he's saved my life three times now. She clutches her chest, bit of a bad ticker and he's a heart specialist. A wonderful boy.
I'm seventy-five and my friends are telling me to move into a home! Imagine that! I might as well hang up me boots and lie down and play dead if that happens and she points to the stout rubber boots on her tiny feet. Her beach boots.
I show her my house across from us.
Oh my darling, that's a house I love, every time we drive by I want to just sit up on that porch and look at the water and the loveliness of it all. Oh my dear, I've always loved that house!
We watch the sunset in silence together.
Well Marge, I say as Ansa and I move off, next time you pass, you'll just have to come for a play date. Please visit!
Yes, my dear, you can count on that!