A soft pink light along the horizon provides the first blush of dawn as I walk beside my Nana. This is the best time of day, the world waking up around us as we head towards the beach.

Molly the dog knows the morning routine. The tag on her collar tinkles as she heads down the laneway, sniffing along the edges as she goes. The lane takes us to a grassed reserve which curves down to the beach. The tide is receding and I run ahead, keen to follow Molly along the water’s edge, ready to explore and see what has been left behind by the sea.

Amongst the ropey strands of seaweed – khaki-coloured grapes that pop if you step on them – you never know what you might see. Odd bits of plastic, narrow slivers of wood, and empty glass bottles are common. Sometimes there is a ball tangled amongst the seaweed, but Molly always finds these first. It doesn’t matter how sodden they are, she digs them out and brings them to Nana like a prize, her tail wagging with delight.

Nana tells me of some of the things she and my cousins have come across in other morning walks. Lost toys, clothing and once they even found money, but I haven’t been as lucky as that.

My best find so far has been a book left underneath a picnic table. It was a book with lots of words but no pictures, and Nana said that she would read it to me when I was old enough. Mostly what I find are shells. I like the shapes of shells, their curved edges, the mix of colours and textures. My favourites are the ones that look like ice cream cones, and I wonder at what creatures might have once called them home.

As the water sucks and pulls at the sand, I skip behind Molly, my eyes scanning the wiped clean surface for lost treasures I can claim as my own.

I’m participating in this blogging challenge for the month of January, which supports starting the year on the “write” track. You can find other posts with #bloganuary and join in the challenge.