A bright persimmon sunset settles on the edge of the horizon. Crowds gather on the beach, ready to hand over their treasured gifts to Yemanjá, goddess of the sea.
I stand in the midst of the crowd. My new white dress wraps around my ankles in the light breeze. I hold a few corsage orchids and wait to give them to the men in the boats.
The men beckon me over. Slowly, I wade into the sapphire ocean. Waves roll up and down, splashing on to the side of the boat. I try to reach up and hand over the flowers, but I’m too small.
Suddenly, a strong arm lifts me out of the water and my feet land on the cold floor of the boat. I hand over the flowers shyly and slip back into the warm ocean.
“Obrigada,” I say.
The man nods back at me. I stare out at the boats and wait for them to give the gifts to the sea