The sand was cool beneath my feet. The salty surf kissed our toes as we made our way along the shore. I held her hand in mine. Our bare feet followed a whimsical foam etched path. A landward breeze ruffled my hair as the gentle frolicking waves tumbled in to caress the sun-streaked sand. My eyes wandered along a stretch of fertile red soil. I saw two people, people I loved, people I had missed. There was my niece. Her fair ringlets caught random fragments of sunshine. She was holding her father’s hand. His sandy blonde hair fell forward and their matching gray eyes watched the sea as I watched them. My pace quickened but I was careful not to disturb the silent father daughter moment.

I left my lover and ran to the rocky outcropping. My glad fingers touched the sweet surface on the edge of the knoll. I smiled as I pictured my niece squealing to run to me. I hooked my foot on the ledge and lifted myself to greet her. I’m standing on the grassy Canadian knoll. The sea and the sky are the same. If I close my eyes I can imagine a double trail of footprints meanders along the shoreline. The tall grass tickles my legs. In vain I search for the fragrant depressions left by a pair of childlike feet that have stood next to a pair of much larger ones. My empty picnic basket is one of the heaviest things I have ever carried. Scavenging gulls nibble at my uneaten lunch. Esther is gone, Dan and my niece are gone. The sunset is fading but my heart is at peace because their souls are at rest. Someday I too will sail on.


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