Saturday, March 27, 2010
Every morning,the people in the houses by the shore see her go out,bending and stooping,looking for her sea glass.It is what gets her out of bed on some days, this obsession of hers.If she didn't do this,what would she do? Her desperate loneliness is the other constant but she brushes that thought aside.
It has been five years since her husband died ;some say rather unkindly that it was to get away from her constant talking. From the minute her feet hit the floor in the morning, she would chatter,draping complaints over all the chairs,tables and walls.To listen to her was so tiring;but he had to stay alert in case she said,"What do you think?" Of course, she never did but paying attention and holding back any random thought that he had just wore him out and he died.He had read that constant talking was a way of keeping people and pain at bay and he tried to discuss this with her to no avail.She thought herself witty,learned and very interesting.When her family joked about her talking too much she smiled at the attention.
As she walks, she thinks of the child that she encountered on the beach yesterday.He asked so many questions..."what are you doing...have you found many...what do you do with them?" She had found three pieces of glass and she showed them to the small ,red-headed boy with the bright eyes.He was rather cute but such a bother.
He took the pale blue one that is shaped like a diamond and looked through it at the sun and then the swirling gulls.He shrieked,"blue gulls" and fell down laughing. He held it to his ear and then sniffed it."Such foolishness," she thought."This looks like the kite that my Dad and I fly ,it twirls and dashes like this",he cried, and he spun around and fell to the sand and laughed.
He felt the edges of the glass ,the smooth edges and wondered why he doesn't get cut.He wondered how long it had been out there and who lost it.His eyes lit up when he pictures a boy like himself heaving a bottle into the water and the big splash it would make.
He hiked up his wet shorts ,brushed sand from his knees and handed the glass back to the lady.He looked to see if he might pick another one.She handed him a yellow glass that is the color and size of a lemon drop.The boy rubbed it between his hands and listened to the sound.He thought that maybe a ray of sunshine had come down, thrown to earth by a huge man the size of a giant like in the story his mother read to him, "Jack and the Beanstalk".He ran around looking for beans but didn't find any.The yellow glass might be his favorite,he just loved the brightness of it.It seemed like happy glass.
He told the lady that;she just shrugged and handed him the third.This time he was in deep thought,holding the green one.The color seemed to calm him.He smelled the glass to see if it was like the lawn that he lays on when it is summer and the grass has been cut.He thinks of how the grass holds him while he looks to the sky and checks to see if the clouds are lazy or grumpy and mean.
The green glass really holds his attention."Maybe it is an eye of a princess who lost it here and I will find her and give it to her and be a big hero,"he thought.He smiles with pleasure at this.The boy really wanted to keep this one and he hesitates a minute ,hoping, but then he hands it back.
She didn't know this but the small boy was sorry to see her go ,this lady with the much admired collection of sea glass.But she hurried up the beach to keep looking and he didn't know but she was hoping he wouldn't follow.He liked her and as he ran home he was so excited at the idea of telling his family about the glass.
That night, with his sandy feet curled up, he would fall into a deep sleep that came very quickly.She rocks in her chair as she thinks of all the sea glass in the cold plain jar,and for her sleep is far away.