A short letter from a young swimmer. Rated G.

Hi mom and dad!

I'm having such a good time! I wanted to come home at first, but now I'm so glad I'm here, I'm having a lot of fun.

My favorite part is swimming. Well, we don't swim, we lie on the beach and let the tide roll over us. First I can just hear it sliding up the sand, then simmering as it leaves behind sand, drying in the sun. Then it touches my ear, then it comes up to my nose. Then it rolls over to my other ear. It touches one hand, then, after a while, the other hand. Oh, I lie on my back, did I say that? It feels so great. It washes over my whole body, then it sucks me towards the sea as it flows away. Sometimes I slide a little, into the sea, before it lets go and I'm just sitting, drying in the sun.

But then it comes and it covers me and it stays. For hours, I'm under water, and it tumbles me back and forth on the ocean floor. I have my eyes closed, but I can feel it holding me, lifting me up then dropping me down, back down on the ocean floor where the sand lightly billows up and meets me, then slowly carries me down to rest. I sit there.

One time I sat there for several days. In the deep ocean, the tide just stops. The sound just stops. There at the bottom, I don't feel the water anymore. I almost want to be on shore again, so that I can feel the tide roll over me. But I don't want to leave, either. Weird, huh? But I just sat there, deep under the sea, and I could hear the fish swim over me. I can hear the ships sail over me. I can hear the stars, they prickle on the ocean's surface and make a noise, did you know that? Out in the deep ocean it's all prickling stars, except when the sun's out. That's when the fish make the most noise. Then they stop, and it's the stars and the ships.

When I was at the bottom, I didn't think of anything. I started, thinking of you, mommie, and you, daddie, like separate waves when I was on the shore. One time, a wave was mommie: soft and lingering, and I loved it. Then, daddie, those were the ones that pushed me out to sea, gave me a lift, and I loved that, too. But then I'm in the deep sea, and mommie and daddie are there, I can hear it in my ears, but you aren't there, either. When the stars are out, sometimes I cry and sometimes I don't.

Somehow I got rolled back. The sea spit me out. It was like dreaming, I was just one place one time, and then I was rolling, and then I was in this other place. And then I was on the shore, and the tide took itself away from me. It covered both ears. Then it covered my mouth, then it didn't and I gasped. Then it left my nose, and then it was just at my ear, and then I could just hear it.

I liked it, but now I don't want to go to the sea for a while. Maybe I'll just sit on the beach and watch, and then I'll go in later.

Love you and miss you