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The girl on the beach

There's a girl on the beach, she's around 8 years of age. A wide beaming smile radiates across her face, the sun streaming down onto her shoulders as she cups the sand in her hands and lets it fall back to where it came from.

Not a care in the world, a life stretching out ahead of her ready to be shaped by the people she surrounds herself with and those she's not yet met. Happy and gleeful voices dance on the beach, families enjoying the last few days of the summer holidays begin to pack up their belongings as her own family get ready for the return back to Granny's cottage. The mum puts her book and Ambre Solaire in the bag whilst the dad gathers the buckets and spades pausing to smile at his family, the children reluctant to leave the warm sand amble slowly up to the group and sit down with their elasticated towels drying them off. The cossies come off and the shorts and aertex shirts go on, the scratchiness of clothing a reminder that the beach is over for another day.

The girl on the beach picks up a handful of sand and puts it in her pocket, gazing out to sea she turns and scrunches up her eyes as she faces the sun. Happy memories are made at the beach and as she picks up the bright yellow ball and throws it at her brother she lets out a giggle as he catches it, then drops it. "Butter fingers" she yells as he runs towards her and dives for her feet, knocking her off balance.

As they walk up the path to the cottage, she turns and puts her hand in her pocket where the sand rests as a reminder of a happy day. She will remember this day forever and without knowing it she will look at the bright lemons in the fruit bowl and think back to happy and uncomplicated times, when life was so much simpler and less fraught.

Years later as the girl now a woman with a family of her own looks through photo albums whilst she sorts out the last remaining vestiges of her family home before it's sold she was reminded of that special holiday, the people in the photo are no longer present but the memories remain.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the children rushing in and saying "come on let's go the beach and see who will be butter fingers today" as they grabbed a faded yellow ball and ran off with their cousins to the beach to stir up the sand and create their own special and sunny memories.


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