‘Who are you?’ sung The Who in 1978.
You are the apple of my eye.
You are the sunshine of my life.
In French there are two translations for ‘you’.
You is the second person.
‘Hey, you!’ called Madness.
You were made for me.
‘You, me, my brother Jake, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, everybody people, everybody.’ Elwood says in The Blues Brothers.
You are what you eat.
You are not alone.
Navy is a shade of blue.
The Navy defends our country at sea.
An army, a Navy and an Air Force are essential for defending countries which are islands.
Naval officers wear navy blue uniforms.
Navy blue used to be called marine blue.
Navy blue is made using indigo.
‘Heart of oak’ is the official march of the British Royal Navy.
‘In the Navy’ was a Village People song released in 1979.
The Royal Navy was formed in 1660 and is the oldest branch of the British armed forces.
Navy is the apple in my eye.
In French there are two translations of navy: un bleu marin or la marine nationale.
Navy is the second person / the second person is Navy.
Navy was made for me – the colour, clothes, etc.
You are what the navy eats.
You are a shade of blue.
You defend our country at sea.
You used to be called Marine.
You are made using indigo.
‘Heart of oak’ is your official song.
You were born in 1660.
Navy is the second person
Scarlett is the first person to arrive, rushing over the dunes onto the sun-baked beach, casting her eyes around, searching. The skirt of her red sundress flies out as she spins around and around in circles. The heat seems to feed her, give her energy where others would shrivel and look for shade.
‘Arrgh!’ she shouts and there’s anger in her voice. ‘Where are you?!’
And she throws herself down on the hot sand and thumps her fists flung out on either side.
Navy is the second person to arrive. He rides in on a wave, long hair dripping over his bowed face, denim shorts clinging to taut muscles.
Scarlett jumps up and backs away, keeping her distance.
‘Well lookee what’s the tide’s brought in!’ she scoffs. ‘Bundle of laughs this meeting’s gonna be with you all mopey faced.’
Before Navy can respond, Fern, Ivy and Olive come sliding down the dunes, laughing, marram grass springing up in their wake. They make a wide detour around Scarlett and give Navy a big hug.
‘Cheer up’ they all say at once. ‘You do know we’re going to fix this, don’t you?’
Navy shakes his head, spraying them with droplets, which makes them laugh even louder.
‘We thought Sky would be here by now,’ Ivy says. ‘He’s usually the best at overseeing our meetings. Who else is coming?’
As if to answer her question, Indigo and Violet come jogging along hand in hand from one end of the beach, whilst from the other end they can see Clementine, Amber and Maize walking determinedly towards them.
A rough circle is formed on the beach. Scarlett finds herself between Maize and Ivy, who both keep glancing nervously at her, but she’s calmer now and sits still listening to the proceedings.
Sky makes sure everyone has their turn to speak. There are a lot of concerns about pollution from everyone. Fern, Ivy and Olive describe the degradation of parks and forests and the decline of certain species. Maize speaks nervously about rising temperatures and wildfires, clearly intimidated by Scarlett’s presence beside her. The problems caused by wars are discussed too.
When Sky turns the conversation round to finding solutions there are some positive suggestions as well as examples where attitudes are changing. Indigo highlights the advances being made with several new methods introduced which are starting to reverse the situation.
Navy seems the only one who is really depressed. He keeps quiet for a long time, but when Sky presses him he speaks at length about the whales and the dolphins, the dying coral reefs, and the water pollution in rivers and streams. As he speaks, clouds gather overhead and it begins to rain. Tears flow from Navy’s eyes and he’s unable to continue.
The others huddle around, reaching out, touching and trying to console him.
‘Look!’ Scarlett suddenly shouts, pointing upwards. The rain has stopped and the sun has returned. As the clouds recede, a bright rainbow has appeared, arching from one side of the beach to the other.
‘It’s a sign,’ they all agree.
‘When we’re united, we can produce miracles.’
Even Navy lifts his head at last and gazes overhead, a faint smile playing on his lips.
‘You’re right,’ he says, ‘I mustn’t give up hope. How could I have forgotten that rainbows follows storms? We’ll work together, even Scarlett if she agrees to keep that temper of hers in check. There’s a place for each of us if we can only cooperate and prioritise the health of the planet.’
Jane Claire Jackson is a Welsh writer who now lives in the Normandy countryside. She likes nothing more than sitting beside the fishpond in her garden with a notebook and pen. (@JaneJackson76)