There was one evening in particular which I won’t forget. The mist had come down until we couldn’t see beyond the garden. I went out anyway. I was restless; worrying about a friend at home, who was waiting for news. She tried to hide it, but she was afraid; I was afraid for her. Sometimes there is no magic wand to make it all better. All I could do was think of her. I thought so hard it should have been tangible. But it didn’t feel like enough. Then the sun emerged, burning through the clouds. We paddled in the freezing waves. I picked out the most perfect pebbles to take back to her. Pebbles to speak for me if I ran out of words. To say: I stood on the beach on Tiree, and wished that all could be well for you. She’s still waiting for news. Waiting is hard.