Beside The Sea

She walks in silence beside the sea – a phantom on the beach in the early morning mists of low tide. Her black hair lifts and billows in the wind like a sail. She wears a shawl pulled tightly against her shoulders, while the waves caress bare feet, never quite touching her gypsy skirt.

She is here every morning. I watch her from the deck of the beach house, which has been in my family for generations. As I do every morning. Rising early to watch her, wondering what it is that brings her out on her morning sojourn.

She’s waiting for something, of that I am sure. Her pace is slow, but her strides measured. Her pain is palpable in the damp chill – her longing, a beacon. But her longing is not my longing. She waits, while I am merely a spectator.

This mystery woman has become my muse. My morning ritual. I sit, drinking coffee as the sky blushes, and weave visions, speculations, tales of loves lost and passions unrequited. And when she has passed, taking her silence with her, I write.

We have a long and varied history, she and I. Sometimes we walk hand in hand along the silver sands, sharing dreams and making plans. At other times, we share the beach with giggling children, or a playful dog. Sometimes both.

Her smile is radiant. Her dark eyes engulf me. She is my world – but only in my dreams. Harsh reality disagrees. She is beyond me and her longing is not my own. Has never been. Will never be, so long as we are separated by a gulf inviolable.

My few attempts to intercede in her lonely vigil have only met with disappointment. Her passing is predetermined, but easily interrupted. When I wait on the beach, she does not come. When I walk out to intercept her, she fades like a shadow cast in moonlight. She does not acknowledge me. She does not see me, because she cannot.

Her longing is not my longing. Her story was written long ago – appearing in the journals of my forefathers. She has passed here for centuries and will do so long after I am gone. And yet I continue to dream. I spin tales of solace, in the hopes of ensnaring her.

One day, I too will be cut loose from these mortal bonds. One day, I will join her on that beach. One day I will offer her an alternative to her pain, as none before me have been able to do.

Two shades passing, our longings intertwined, as the world crumbles around us. Together forever in the morning mists, walking in silence beside the sea.

Many thanks to my dear @dralingyoung for the prompt.


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