She almost missed them. The sun on the water and the crash of the waves had distracted her, as had the children and their dog playing in the distance. Everything told a story, she knew: Where had the water been before it washed upon this beach? How many ships had it passed beneath, how many swimmers had dove into, laughing and breathless. And the children–untold possibilities there, the simplest of which was how they had met their pet collie, who was barking and smiling along with them. (Was it possible for dogs to smile?)
But the little shells, and the many footprints around them, held stories, too. The shells had journeyed from who-knows-where to land on this beach. The footprints could have been left by anyone–lovers enjoying a sunset on their honeymoon; a mom and her children searching for beach treasures; someone feeling desperate and alone, walking along the beach in hopes of some answers from nature.
Yes, they held just as many secrets. Just as many possibilities. Just as many stories.
And she had almost missed them.
Copyright Sarah Davidson 2020