The tartan blanket was spread beneath her, picnic bags strewn shoes and spades spread all around. She watched the gentle ripples of the tide as it seeped against the sand, urging the pebbles to journey up the beach with a soft rumble and peaceful splash. Each tiny tempest of a calm summer wave sparkled brightly in the sunlight, each peak glimmering as it travelled to the shore. A warm welcome breeze brushed her dark hair softly over her cheek as she sat very still observing, watching from the side lines as they played in the sand. Luck had brought her to this perfect moment. Quietly she watched the tall, strong man play with his enthralled children, scooping up sand, creating a castle, it had to have a moat and shells were found for windows, seaweed for a drawbridge. Their excited calls and avid involvement made her heart swell with pride. He looked up and saw her watching, his face breaking into a wide boyish smile. She raised her hand and waved at him, returning his smile fully. She delighted in them, her family, their creation. She breathed the salty air deeply into her lungs and chose this as her happy place, quietly absorbing the tiniest detail, for perfect recall in those darker moments when life threatened to smother her. Once she was sure this was somewhere that would always find her should she need it, she jumped up and joined them, splashing through the surf.