Shades of the Sea

The sea was the home of her soul. As a little girl, she would wait every year for the precious few days that they’d spend by the sea. The long train ride. The dusty road and clean white house. And finally — the sea. The reunion of old loves. Through the scorching sand in the white heat of summer, she’d run for her first glimpse… and then run again, straight into the arms of the water. Unstoppable, a force of nature herself, running into the sea until the waves surrounded her and embraced her. Then she’d pause, laughing with the sheer joy of living, before plunging forward to be fully in the world she shared with the sea. The sea recognised her; named her for who she was; completed her.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The colours changed, and so did the moods, in that eternal sea with its unchanging power. So many shades of the sea, and not one she didn’t love. Blue, green, grey. Sometimes limpid, sometimes deep… sometimes boisterous, sometimes calm… the waves rising and falling and always calling. A primal call she could never resist, and would never want to. The waves that kissed and leaped and pulled her under. The salt in her face, the sand in her pores. On bright blue days, or under lowering monsoon clouds. She recognized the sea, named it for what it was. She could have stayed in it forever.

Then would come the time for goodbyes. The time for wrenching hearts and learning not to cry. And she was back in the world, with the strength she needed tucked away in her chest. She was too alive to ever stand by marking time, and she lived life with all the lusty exuberance of her passionate nature. But somewhere inside, she’d keep waiting…

She used to swear to herself, “When I grow up, I’ll live by the sea.” But life gets in the way, and adult women tend to dismiss little girl fantasies. So she didn’t. She chose, instead, to live in a nice city, in a pretty house, with everything one would want. She loved the winds around her house, all soft and sweet, and she smiled in their gentleness. She forgot her longing for the smell of salt. She loved that her house stood on solid bedrock – it made so much more sense than shifting sands. She loved the sunsets and the stars, and it seemed immaterial that they were not reflecting off breaking waves. Of course, she could always visit the sea. There were never any recriminations, only the healing sense of wholeness. And so it was a happy life.

And yet — the sea, the sea, the call of the sea. The tumultuous sounds and sensations in blue and green, drowning out truths she thought she knew and choices she thought she’d made. That strange longing from deep within and long ago…

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