Serendipitous encounters.

Look, there's so much to tell (and even more to show) about my two days away. But I've walked nearly 20 miles (no exaggeration! I checked it on Gmaps Pedometer!) in the past two days, and nearly half of those miles were on sand, and so I am tired. To tide you over (as it were) until tomorrow, here are a couple of images and a small story.

When I arrived in Wells-next-the-Sea yesterday, the tide was on its way out, but it was still pretty high--something I didn't realize until I went back to the beach this afternoon. As soon as I'd dropped my shoulder bag at my bed and breakfast, I made my way to the beach as swiftly as I could. And here's why:

More about my two days of beach rambles tomorrow.

Today, though, as I walked westward along the shoreline, I heard a little voice saying, "Does anyone have a bag? Does anyone have a bag?" over and over. The voice belonged to a small, dark-haired boy, maybe six or seven years old. He was near the water's edge with his whole family, but they were standing apart from him, engaged in something unrelated to his search for shells and stones. "Does anyone have a bag?" he said again, just as I reached him. He wasn't looking in my direction, but I stopped and said, "I think that I have a bag." I relocated the zipper for my new blue coat's "map pocket" and pulled out one of the two Ziploc bags I'd carried with me for the weekend. (The other one was back at the B&B with my stones from yesterday in it.) I held it out and said, "Here you go." Accepting it as if it were natural for strange women to walk up to him on the beach and offer exactly what he needed, he said, "Thank you." And then he went back to picking up shells. As well he should have done.

I walked on down the beach, jotting down what had just happened. The wind was out of the east today, and so sounds were following me as I walked. Just as the boy's family was about to be out of earshot, I heard the sound of a question, followed by the boy's response: "That lady gave it to me."

All I took in return was his picture--and alas, because I was trying to be discreet about it, I mismanaged my focus. But there he is, on the right, with his bag.