Joyce did yoga every evening on the beach. It was harder than you might think. The shifing sand underfoot, the undulating horizon, and the occasional gusts challenged even the best yogis’ balance. That was just the start for Joyce.
The tweee of the gulls, the frenzied scurry of sandpiper, and the occasional soft-shell crab, snipped and peeled her concentration.
The own internal chatter refused to quiet: unending to-do lists, what-if, and when-is, snagged her heart center and toppled her tree pose.
That’s when she saw the bottle. And the note, of course. The bottled washed in and out with the waves, rolling almost merrily. The notes, probably just some kid fooling around. You know what they say about curiosity and the cat, Joyce’s thoughts were like a whispered warning inside her head.
“Isn’t curiosity the mother of invention?” she told herself out loud. Even as she said it, she knew that wasn’t true, but what the heck.
Joyce flattened the wad of paper she pulled from inside the bottle. In neat, catholic school penmanship someone penciled:
My name is Patty O’Neil. I’m 20 years old. It’s 1987. I’m alone. I want to go home. Bob won’t
Joyce’s heart center nearly leaped out of her chakras. She left the moment and began to careen into the past and leave the solid, here and now behind.
She had to find Patty. She had to find out what happened.
“It’s the one thing I’m meant to do,” Sally whispered to the setting sun.
“It’s God’s will,” she silently said to the doubter in her head.