Tuesday, May 19, 2009



Picture us.
A family of four on a wide deserted beach.
Hop, skip and jump,
Not a care in the world.
The tide is out.
The damp sand left behind
Is ideal for a little boy
To scrabble in.
He crouches down,
Was there a sign?
Oh yes.
'Beware Dangerous Rip'
It said.
Nothing to do with us.
We weren't swimmers.
I could doggy-paddle
But that didn't count.
Where did the rogue wave come from?
I only know that I looked back
And my little boy
Was in the surf!
As we ran to him
Another wave carried him
Further out.
Then another.
We screamed.
 He was laughing!
And both of us leaped into the surf and swam!
We were driven up against rocks,
We were pounded with huge waves.
He seemed to bob further and further away!
But we brought him back to shore,
Where his sister, thumb in mouth,
Stood wide-eyed.
Was that bravery?
I doubt it.
It was instinct pure and simple.
I only know that he was still laughing.
And, thirty-five years later,
He's laughing still.
That's all I need to know!

Greg now with his wife and youngest son.


Darlene said...

Nothing can be more terrifying than having a child in danger. I am so glad that this story ended happily and Greg is a handsome man with a handsome family.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely family.

Winifred said...

That's the stuff of nightmares! Some guardian angels must have been on duty that day. Thank goodness you're all still around. It's a lovely photo.

Kat said...

Truly it was 'bravery'. Can imagine the tense moments and anxiety and finally the reilef pouring in.

Nice to see the lovely family with a delightful smile on all faces. And probably in yours too, even as you wrote the poem..!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing that story with us. Having been caught in a rip tide myself, when surfacing from a dive, I know intimately that terror-stricken feeling. How much it must have been magnified in you to find your child in the rip. Brave? Yes. Many would have panicked, which would have been no use at all.

RJ Clarken said...

Thanks for telling us this tale. As the mom of two 'adventuresome' 'tweens, I worry about stuff like this - and hope it never happens.

I love the photograph! And I'm so glad there was a happy outcome!

Elizabeth said...

I think a lot of parents have had such moments, with four kids, I certainly did. And with each one, the relief afterward is a bit haunted by what could have happened. Thanks for the story and the wonderful, years later photo.


Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done...thanks for sharing this

keiths ramblings said...

I got cut off by the tide once when I was kid and had to be rescued by the coastguard. 50 years later my parents still don't know about it!

Mary said...

What a frightening situation. So glad all turned out well! And what a handsome son and family.