• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 07
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When the Sea came to me

The first time I saw the sea I was about 5 years old. It rolled in quite gently at first then gathered pace and roared it's way across the sands. The noise scared me but my mother laughed and took me to the edge of the water. The cold water ran over my bare feet and I backed away quickly shrieking with fear and joy combined. I grew more confident and walked once more into the onrushing tide loving the sensation of the water withdrawing and my heels sinking into the soft sand. The sunlight glistened on the waves, a million stars shimmered as far as I could see and when the time came to go home I cried for that sea, to wade in its waters. My grandfather chuckled as he dried my feet with the towel warmed by the sunshine "Here come on let's get you dried, just look at all that sand in between your little toes!" I looked down seriously at my feet while grandfather dried them with all the care of a man cleaning precious porcelain "There, you're done now" he said blowing on my feet to scatter the few obstinate grains that remained. The effort of blowing caused him to cough with a rasp that caused alarm between me and grandmother. He turned away and cleaned his mouth with his handkerchief, composing himself before turning to face us adding hoarsely "Eee this blinking cough eh? Come on lets get set for home little un" My grandfather died the following winter and he would never dry my little feet again. I was distraught at the passing of this lovely man who loved us all. I lay on the settee with my face buried in a pillow crying, inconsolable. My mothers voice gently told me to look and see what grandfather had left me and with the inquisitiveness of a child I turned to look. It was an enamel bowl filled with water "Look grandfather saved you some of the sea!" My sobbing stopped and I asked mother "Is it really the sea?" "Yes" she said "He wrote a letter to the Pier man and told him to send some of the sea to you, something to remember him by" I lowered my feet into the cold water and could think of no greater gift than the day the sea came to me...