It was a half-moon last night, waxing. A friend and I went to the beach, to watch the white-tipped waves wash upon the sand.
My friend pointed out the stone jetty – a narrow, rocky path that stretched out some way into the sea.
You mean we could climb those rocks and have the ocean on all sides of us?
… Let’s do it!
The wet rocks shone in the lunar light, each craggy edge and roughened plane detailed by the moon’s gentle touch; the rest was darkness, and unknown. Blindly I reached out with hands and feet, tentative but trusting, seeking the next safe foothold; the next secure grasp. One step after another – forward, always forward. Beneath the rocks, I began to hear the roiling waters swirling underfoot. We were surrounded on all sides, except the path behind upon which we had come, and the sky above, overcast and starless.
Eventually we came to the end of the narrow path. I stood as close to the edge as I dared. Exuberant and excited, I lifted my arms and cried out my joy to the vast black sea.
The dark waters moved like a beast rolling over, rewarding me with a sudden surge that rose as high as I stood. Tiny drops of water landed in a hundred kisses on my upturned face, and there was salt upon my lips.
Yes! Teach me your song!
The black water toiled upon itself and pulsed against the rock I stood on, but remained indecipherable. So I lifted my voice to the wind and began to sing to it a song of the sea of my homeland. And as I sang, the midnight sea swelled and moved about me, until I began to hear the song that it was singing too.
I laughed and raised my voice again and howled up at the pale white moon, lifting my arms high, high above my head. And then I began to sing the song of the dark sea, the song that it was teaching me. I sang, and she sang, and we sang until it seemed a frenzy of white foam crested every other note; we sang until I was soaked to the skin but warm to the bone.
I said to my friend after, that I was glad to have had someone with me. A reason to turn back, as the tide came in.
Why? Were you scared?
No. That’s the problem.