Her soft hand a steel trap. Propelled by her fish tail, quick and strong, I am led along, perhaps astray. We travel to the depths. Nothing about this makes sense. We pass shiny creatures, scaly creatures, creatures with tentacles, creatures with hard shells and protruding legs, creatures with bulging eyes, other creatures with no eyes at all, glow-in-the-dark creatures, creatures that see us and dart away, and curious creatures who, by our sides, want to stay. We pass waterlogged and nibbled-on debris. Human creatures are to blame for this. A catalogue of creatures we do pass before she takes her first rest, but not her first breath.
My eyes magically adjust to the sunless deep, I see what lies far beneath. Beneath the day that began like any other day on a tourist-packed beach. I see fractured pillars and cracked statues. I see what once was pride now covered in green slime, from its head to its missing backside. I see a giant-sized toppled head on the ocean floor, reminding me of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – a Middle English poem I love to teach. I see steps as far as I can see, that seem to lead to nowhere, as far as I can tell.
Why did she bring me here? What does she want me to know? With these thoughts, not spoken, but received, she pulled me toward a wishing well. We stood, hand-in-hand, next to a fountain that flowed with fresh water in the deep of the sea. How can this be? She brushed her hand across the crystal blue. We watched the ripples undulate then subside. Dozens of coins appeared before my eyes, in every size. I understood that each coin had once belonged to me. One by one, each coin floated out of the fountain, then turned into a bubble that popped before my eyes. Each pop transformed into a wishing memory. A young girl tossing a coin over her shoulder in the middle of a city park. A woman tossing a coin into a flower-surrounded fountain at a Santa Fe hotel, just a few weeks ago. Pop! Pop! Pop! Tossed wishes bursting in front of me. My mind was drowning in wishes – some realized and others yet to be. What does this mean? With that question she prompted me to look closely into the crystal blue, still rippling from escaped dreams. A wave of her hand brought stillness and peace. Ripples transformed into a familiar face. My green eyes became her eyes of blue and in that moment, I knew. The wishes I make are mine to create. The real magic lives within ourselves, not in a wishing well.
She returned me to the shore where she once found me, a lifetime ago. Not much had changed since she pulled me away. Except me, of course.
It sure was hard to leave the beautiful beach and head back to the scorching heat. Writing about swimming in the ocean is not the same as swimming in the ocean, but it does help! Especially when I can embellish with a mermaid, a lost city, and an underwater wishing well. ✨ Thank you for visiting, reading, and listening. Be well. 💗 Michele
“I must be a mermaid… I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”~ Anais Nin
Photos 1 & 2: Hilton Head Island (my images) Photo 3: my wall-hanging mermaid 🧜🏼♀️
© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton.