Yellow Sea, China - Xijia Peng

The most recent visit I had to my hometown of Qingdao was the summer of 2014. The heat was terrible, it was cloudy but barely rained, and algae from pollution clumped in groups in the surrounding Yellow Sea and on the beaches. It was then that I realized the severe conditions of the water. It was very different compared to the past, very different from when I was in my elementary school years.

I was born in the city of Qingdao of China, and lived there for eight years before moving to Canada. During those eight years, I would go on frequent trips with my family to the beach by the Yellow Sea. One particular trip was especially memorable.The sun was shining bright and a cool salty breeze drifted in from the sea. I hopped from boulder to boulder, as much as a child could, looking at the little critters and bugs crawling about. Along the coast, there was an abundance of seashells and clams, just waiting for their beauty to be discovered. After getting a scolding from my parents about how dangerous it was to jump on rocks, I turned my attention to the water. I ran down the beach, tripping on the sand here and there, and stopped right before the water could reach my feet. The tide was peaceful, with only some gentle rolling waves. I crouched down and dipped a finger in the water. The temperature was just right, not too warm nor too cold. With my swimsuit already on, I waded in. I swam in deeper, but only for a few meters, then I looked down to the sea floor to find shells and interesting coloured rocks. Just as I was reaching in the water to grab a seashell, a group of little fish swam right past my fingertips! I was so intrigued that I almost ended up spending the rest of the day trying to pet the fish, before giving up and continued to collect shells and rocks. As I remember those little moments, I begin to think more and more of the water. It was a part of my childhood that I took for granted, only to see now how precious it really is.

Yellow Sea, China
Bonnie McElhinny
Xijia Peng

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