My daughter and I spent a day on Massachusetts’ Plum Island earlier this week, and as the photo makes evident, the day was a good one: Temperatures in the mid-60s, few people (but many birds), a picnic lunch, and driftwood. Lots of driftwood. So, gathering some in, I tried building with it. What I ended up with initially was a complex, heaped-up hut. But knowing (even as I built) that complexity disagrees with everything I believe in, I pulled it all down to its beginning point.
Interestingly, that’s when my efforts caught Quetzal’s attention. “What’s that?” she asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said. “What do you think it is?”
“I think it’s an opening,” she said.
“Yes,” I said: “An opening. To land, sky, and ocean, to beginning and ending, to living and dying, to dreaming, creating…and to you when you’re old like me and me when I’m young again like you…”
“Dad,” she said with a crazy laugh, and then she immediately returned to her own fantasy, which, as the photo half-shows, was directly in front of mine.
“It’s a circle inside a circle inside a circle,” she said when I looked in on it.
One of her circles, the inner-most one, was a series of sand dollars–not found sand dollars, but those she had drawn in the sand with various shells and a crab leg. Continue reading