I’d Like to Make Myself Believe …

On Saturday morning, we drove to Bay Furnace, a picnic grove and beach near the town of Christmas. It’s named for the remains of an old pig iron blast furnace.

Here’s what it looks like from the beach by the Christmas Range Lights.

We strolled up and down the beach collecting — and stacking — rocks. The land in this photo is (l to r) Wood Island, Williams Island and Grand Island.

As I was stacking rocks, I noticed a little girl walking all alone along the beach toward us. She went up to my wife and said, “Who are you?” My wife told her. Then the girl said, pointing to my daughter (who had gone to get something out of the car), “What’s that one?” She introduced herself as Jessica. As she waited for my daughter to get back, Jessica wandered over by me. I heard her singing something over and over. It took me a few minutes to recognize it as a bit from the Owl City song Fireflies — “I’d like to make myself believe …” It was a poignant wish from an obviously lonely little girl.

When my daughter (who loves kids and is great with them) returned, Jessica latched onto her — singing and talking non-stop.

I grabbed my chair and sat in the shade of a pine.


As the two girls wandered up the beach, they finally got outside the comfort zone of even Jessica’s mom who had been sitting at a picnic table way off to our left, out of sight. She trudged up the beach, passing right in front of us without acknowledgment. All she said to my daughter, in return for a half hour of unsolicited babysitting, was a desultory “hi.” Jessica walked back up the beach with her, no doubt still wanting to make herself believe.

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