Thursday, 20 January 2011

Miracles On The Sand

Image above: Orlando collecting mussels from the bay.

Miracles On The Sand

Wednesday January 19th

Out of the breeze the bay has warmed, I follow Orlando who has equipped himself with a bucket and a staff borrowed from a biblical epic. The waters have already parted and the retreating tide has left a deep mat of kelp. I pad through to meet my wife and our neighbour who are returning over the sands from a trip to the doctor’s. In the haste to check the post and any news they are carrying I forget to ask about the new doctor.

Orlando has been slowed by the kelp and I wait. He catches up and we walk on fording the stream and checking rocks for mussels as we go. In amongst the stonewalled fish traps he answers his mobile and is away in conversation as I walk on towards the corner of the bay. I make exploratory kicks at empty shells hindered in my movements by youngest son who is perched in a carry frame on my back. When Orlando returns we are in the thick of mussel territory, the bucket takes only a few minutes to fill.

As we walk back he talks about the phone call; news of an operation that he has been waiting for to correct the vision in one of his eyes. Later he jokes that the operation should miraculously halve the island’s population ; at least through his eyes.

Image Below: Orlando collecting mussels from the bay.

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