When I was six I wrote a letter to “whom it may concern” in my messy six year old handwriting.
I scrawled every letter in green crayon, and at the bottom my initials, IWR.
I tied it with a broken hair tie and crammed it in an empty beer bottle.
I popped a cork in the mouth of the bottle, crumpling the paper inside a bit, and then popped into Grandma’s little blue car, clutching the bottle’s slender neck tightly with my little fingers.
We live on the coast, me and my family. I popped out of the car and there I was, at the very edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Wind from the frigid water whipped my hair. My cheeks turned rosy red with cold.
I stared at the ocean for a bit, quietly admiring it. I stepped closer to the shimmering, teasing, silver waves, where a few dead jellyfish and crabs littered the sand.
When the time felt right, I flung the bottle as far as my tiny arms could, watching the waves swallow it and then drift it out on its journey.
Grandma said maybe it would end up in San Francisco, or maybe New York, or maybe even Japan.
I fantasized about it reaching a little girl on the coast of Africa, or a little boy living by the sea in Ireland.
I sometimes wonder if anyone ever found my message in a bottle, or if it just sunk to the ocean floor.