The mermaid stone hasn’t seen much action these days. With surfers riding the waves in recent years and more dogs running along the beaches, it’s no wonder that mermaids are going elsewhere to gather their thoughts at dawn and dusk.
I, for one, would love to catch a glimpse of a siren arranging her hair while singing a haunting melody. Even one of the mermaids’ legged cousins, the sea nymphs, would be a delight to find strolling along our shores, gathering shells.
Maybe it’s all the garbage that’s dumped near our shores that’s putting them off. Or perhaps they don’t bother visiting Cow Bay because there are fewer and fewer shells to find here. The ones that do wash up on our beaches are quickly gathered by tourists and local beachcombers like me.
We don’t pause to consider that seashells and sea glass are the only adornments mermaids and sea nymphs have available to them when the seaside flowers aren’t in bloom.
There are probably uninhabited islands not far from here where mermaids don’t have to compete with anyone for the treasures that wash ashore. Seals are likely less intimidating than dogs from their point of view as well.
I’m going to start leaving the seashells where I find them on the shore instead of taking them home. If I take anything back from the beach, it will be the garbage I find there. It’s not much, but it’s a first step in attracting these wondrous creatures back to our shores.
I must be a mermaid… I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
― Anaïs Nin (1903-1977)