January 28, 2013
Impatiently she tossed her head, trying in vain to remove the windblown strands of graying hair that were constantly in her eyes. The clack of her black pumps echoed in the empty attic as she opened the door onto the widow’s walk. She inhaled the salty ocean air, feeling the breeze against her face, bringing with it the memories she had buried deep inside her for 50 years. She gazed at the ocean waves, mysterious as ever. Tell me your secrets, she implored silently. Where do the lost lie beneath your depths? How can you take some but not others? Why did you... But the question was too painful to finish. She leaned her head against the wooden railing, feeling the sun-warmed grains against her forehead. Reflecting on the past, she wondered how she had lived 50 years of her life without him. The crash of a wave hitting the rocky beach below sent her back to the heartbroken days of her love-filled youth. She could still remember the white of his smile, but his face became less clear every day. Thinking of the day she first heard news of the shipwreck, she groaned aloud and whispered his name questioningly. Wondering if he could hear her, she turned and started to make her way out of the abandoned house and down to the beach. Kicking off her tight shoes, she wiggled her toes in the cool sand. Feeling the ocean spray against her face, she let silent tears drip down as the hungry waves lapped her feet. The ocean is always taking, she thought. Slowly, she took another step into the waves. Why can’t it ever give? Her foot ponderously moved forward. I wish I could see him, just once, she thought. Lifting up her dress, she waded farther into the welcoming waves.

Maybe you can, a voice in her head whispered. Admiring the way the sun made a trail of light across the dancing waves, she took another step into the blue water. She remembered him talking about following that trail someday, swimming off down its glimmering carpet and never returning. She wondered if that was where he had gone. Had he followed that enchanting ribbon into the sunset? Has he forgotten me, or does he mean for me to follow him? I can’t bear to be without him much longer. Thinking of the Tennyson poem he always used to quote, she said aloud, “But such a tide as moving seems asleep, too full for sound and foam.” Falling silent, she threw a spray of water up into the air with her hand, watching as a thousand glittering diamonds rained down upon her head, dampening her hair. Watching her tears fall to join with the waves, she smiled as they merged with the water, becoming indistinguishable, journeying on to exotic places. Yes, she thought. Everything is connected. The ocean takes us and melds us together until we can never be separated. Walking farther into the blue water, she lifted her face to the sun. Looking down the glittering path of light that extended far out to the horizon, she walked onwards. I’m coming, my love, she murmured as the water closed over her head, the waves speeding toward the beach, crashing with the sound of thunder.

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