She might be an older friend, or a big sister and shes barking out orders with unquestionable authority to Victoria, a smaller girl clutching the flimsy handle of a plastic bucket. “Hurry! Run!” she yells, pointing toward the low lying sea, about 100 yards off, “Hurry, or they’ll die! And come back as fast as you can!” Victoria turns abruptly, pivoting her bare heel in the damp sand, and sets off, with earnest effort toward the shoreline. She’s saving crabs, little ones. They have become trapped in a swiftly shrinking tide puddle. The older girl hangs back, suddenly alone with herself, under the hot sun with all these little crabs and a huge job ahead of her.
The pool has been steadily warming as it evaporates in the mid day sun and she’s worried the water will either get too hot or disappear altogether. Crab Bisque, I think to myself, as I watch her. “Hurry up!” she screams again, remembering time is running out and there’s work to be done. “Come on! Run!” she yells but her voice is swept from her mouth and carried away on the rippling airwaves. Victoria can’t hear her.
Far away now, I can see her small bent-over form, she’s tipping the bucket and I sense the relief welling up inside her. Because she’s done it, she’s saved them. Later, as I’m walking back through the tall grass, jumping drift wood and wondering where the actual path is that will take me past the BBQ pit and on up to the parking lot, I realize these girls have got what it takes to make a difference in the world: vision, passion, and something worth fighting for. It’s been a good day for all of us.