Thursday, April 29, 2010

The White Balloon

Witness Wellfleet's welcome to the PMC riders in 2008. The race will take place the first weekend in August in 2010. We still have some availability that weekend if you want to come down and cheer on the riders ...

No white balloon in the photo above. You're right. However, Sven and I did have an adventure with a white balloon at LeCount Hollow Beach this week.

We walked down to Marconi, as usual. The tide was low. A light drizzle soon had covered my coat with fine, dew-like droplets. We walked quickly because of the weather, at least I did. Below the Marconi dune, I spied a white balloon, whose string had gotten tangled in seaweed, weighing it down. Several colorful ribbons were attached to the string – green, purple, orange – and they flapped in the breeze. Someone had held this balloon on a ship, off the coast, quite recently because the helium still gave it some lift, but not much. The white balloon was caught on a piece of driftwood. I untangled the string and showed my prize to Sven. With the balloon in hand, we hightailed it back to the parking lot.

Balloons do not belong on beaches, so I decided to have Sven take a photo of me with the balloon as illustration for a future post about beach litter. He does not usually operate my camera, but I knew my husband would be up to the task. By the third photo, he called out, “It doesn’t want to work!”

Meanwhile, a little girl with sandy socks and no shoes or coat appeared with her father. She was about four or five. They had been playing near the edge of the parking lot.

“What do you have there?” the child asked in a very serious voice, knowing full well it was a balloon. “Where did that come from?” she added.

“We found it on the beach,” I said. “I’d be glad to give it to you. Would you like it?”

She nodded solemnly while Sven chatted with the father, from Orleans.

“The sea is full of garbage,” Sven said. “Too many people use it as a garbage dump.”

“It is,” the man agreed. “It’s very sad.”

Balloons belong with children. By now, I had recovered the camera and realized the batteries were dead. I still held the balloon in my left hand. The little girl was looking up at me enviously. I handed it over.

Sven and I headed home. He told me that the parents were getting a divorce. The father had brought his daughter to LeCount to play.

I had never seen a white balloon before on the beach. White seems special, not right for a report on beach litter, so I’m glad it found a home with this innocent little girl. I hope her parents are careful with their divorce and do no damage …