By Christina Ritchie.
There was a time when I collected shells of peace.
It was in January of 2001 and where I lived it was cold. I went for a week long holiday to a place where the sun shone all year round: Vancouver Island where my parents lived. Before I had left for my holiday I made the decision to leave my job as a childcare worker. My job had become very stressful as there were constant disagreements between our staff and our employer. I needed the peace of that relaxing holiday.
Every morning once the tide went out I would go to Shack Island and my hunt would begin. After my shell hunt I would sit at my parents place and watch the boats in the ocean move at a slow pace.
This past summer my boys went to visit my parents at their home and picked up shells as they roamed. Today most of those shells stand tall and proud on my son’s dressers, a reminder of a summer when they were without me and had fun with my family.
The shells of BC have become a memory of peace for me. That was when I left my job and did what was best for me. The shells of BC are a memory of peace for my boys as at that time their dad was starting to make the choice to remove himself from their lives.
This summer my boys will be going once again back to BC to pick up more shells of peace and enjoy the calming ocean view.
CHRISTINA RITCHIE writes poetry and short stories. She is currently working on a trilogy about “The Bellechance Family”. When Christina does not write she is a busy mother of two boys and a part time student in the continuing care aid program.