A ride to the sea in the trunk of a van. We miss the grand show of the orange ball disappearing over the blue waves. My mother holds my hand tightly as the waves come nipping at our heels. The feeling of sinking sand as the waves abandon us. A poem about the romance of the sea – forever meeting and forever parting. As my father and I walk with temporary footprints, he tells me the story of a god who walks on the beach and carries us when we are in trouble. Another god by the seaside clad in red and white flowers. Protected by the gods of the sea and the wind, her priest drops into my hand a leaf of blessings. A few flowers, vermilion, sandalwood paste and a slug. An unexpected visitor into the dealings between goddess and woman. I gently shift the vermilion crowned mollusc back into the wilderness of a tree and make my way through a small newspaper cone of sandy hot peanuts. As we finish the day with a story of the devout elephant caught in the clutches of a stubborn crocodile, I think of all the creatures, big and small, who grace our lives for a brief red moment.