As Raven walked along the beach, she paused to watch the waves sparkling under the last of the sun’s golden rays. It was her favorite time of day — the time when one day bows its head to the evening making way for the birth of a new day.
When she first came here with her parents, she was only 8 years old. She hated it at first. She did not like the way the salt made her skin feel tight. She hated the way the ocean breezes swept her hair back revealing the birthmark normally hidden by bangs neatly combed across her forehead. She smiled at the memory. Her hair was a ghostly white now and completely untamed.
Raven stopped to uncover the white shell peeking through the sand. Another sand dollar for her collection. Her thoughts went back to that first summer on the beach. She ran to her father full of excitement. “Look what I found, Daddy. A sand dollar! It’s the best treasure yet!”
”Put it back in the ocean, Raven,” he was stern and she knew he meant business.
”Put it back, Raven. It’s still alive.” Her father knelt down and explained how he knew the sand dollar was alive. “We have an obligation to protect them.” His words fell on deaf ears. She was so mad at him she was determined she would never come back to this awful place.
”Grandma, Grandma! Look what I found.” Raven walked toward her five year old granddaughter as fast as her arthritic knee would allow. “He’s alive! You want to help me save him?”
“Of course I do!”
She watched as her granddaughter walked to the edge of the surf and carefully placed the sand dollar in the water. ”You can go home now little guy. No one is going to hurt you. Swim away!”
Raven looked up just as the last of the sun dipped below the horizon. She hoped her father was up there somewhere, looking down on her. He would be so proud.