The Sea Mist

Cinn (whom Seadance is modeled after and she is a pinto)

The Sea Mist

Beneath the spreading oak tree,
The witch stood in silent repose.
Autumn had come,
Dressing the forest in auburn and gold.
She had left an offering of milk and honey,
To the spirit of this ancient tree.
She reveled in the tree's glory
And health abound,
But her heart mourned in sadness
For yet another tree,
A once loving friend,
That had died in sadness.
This night she would set
The chestnut tree's spirit free.
It had been her beloved guardian
And kept its faithful watch to the sea.
It waited for the ship to come home,
But this joyous event,
The chestnut tree would not see.
As the comforting, protective darkness
Settled into the forest,
Epona came to the witch,
His own demeanor somber
As he too knew
What they, this night, must do.
They rode quietly in the stillness,
Making hardly a sound.
As Epona's hooves hit the stone,
The echoes were silenced in grief.
Hardly a moon shown in the brooding sky,
And the captain's sea lay still.
The witch stood by the tree,
Its withered frame, a mere shadow
Of its former glory.
The witch stared out to sea,
Her heart filled with love for her captain
And said in a broken voice,
"My love, this is your beacon
To see your way home.
If you can feel me in your mind,
Then with me bid our friend goodbye."
Turning with a heart torn in pain,
She lifted the torch to the dead tree
And the flames lit the night
On that barren cliff
Above the empty cove.
Yet far out to sea,
The captain stood at his ladyship's bow,
And knowing there was no land for miles,
He saw a roaring fire in the east,
In the direction of his home and his witch,
And as a profound sense
Of sadness over came him,
He knew not what this light or fire he saw,
He only felt that something of beauty
Had departed his life forever.
He knew his witch still loved him
And somehow she was behind this light,
But something had gone into history.
He feared more for his love,
But he then felt a sense of peace
As something of magic and wonder
Was set free.
It had come from the Keeper of the Light!

(from the original Sea-Wind)


The Atlantic wind blew with icy breath,
Rattling the loose pebbles on the sheer face
Of Sea Cliff.
The stone made little sound under the horse's hooves,
Paddled with rubber and weights for stride.
A pinto gaited mare was brought to a halt
By her rider, her youth still disconcerted
By the flapping of a scarlet cape in strong wind.
She danced to side, anxiously worrying her snaffle bit,
But a soothing word and a gentle touch,
Calmed her and she turned her face east to the sea.
Her rider sat still as stone,
Wrapped in the antiquated scarlet cape,
Her face hidden beneath the cowl of the hood,
And the rest of her form hidden by the cape,
And tailored red riding gloves.
She stood by the stubble of a once chestnut tree,
The wood rotted and decayed
By the ravages of time and weather.
The tree had once been healthy,
A sapling trying to grow in a barren place,
But a hundred or more years had worn down
Its sturdiness.
Its cousin before had been lost in lightning,
The cruelty of an axe, and a torch to free its spirit.
Its dead roots somewhere deep in the crag
Had fallen to food for the younger tree,
Now a derelict itself in the passage of time.

A lonely horn sounded far out in the mist,
Miles from the tiny inlet below Sea Cliff.
The rider surmised it was likely a big oil tanker
Bound for New York or farther south.
Only its plaintive horn, moaning in the sea mist,
Gave credence to its presence.
The melancholy sound complimented
The haunting emptiness of sea and hard rock.
Sweeter days were long gone
In the fading twilight of a chilled December.
It echoed in the heart of the rider
And caused the young mare to shiver.
There were ghosts here...
Ghosts of memories of long ago.
The rider knew them as she stared to sea
And the new year of 2011 loomed on a
Fog banked horizon, just days away.

The ghosts would rise
And perhaps the past would step to the present,
As the New Saga of the Sea-Wind began once again,
Now rising as part two in The Sea Mist.


There was a haunting in the rider's heart,
A longing deep borne and insistent,
Ever mindful of its need.
Yet, it was not the woman astride the pinto,
Staring wistfully out over the vast Atlantic sea,
But a presence, not unknown to her,
But yet not herself.
As the craggy rocks descended down into the sea,
And the bedraggled, wilted tree,
Her eyes saw the scene before her,
But flashes of a different scene
Flickered across the screen within her mind.
It was a scene not of the present
But of the past.
In annoyance and frustration,
The woman shook her head,
Allowing the cowl of the cape to fall away,
Revealing her face to the bitter cold wind.
Dark hair, streaked with gray,
Somber brown eyes, with a lost look
In their depths.
A mouth pursed in irritation
As the melancholy feeling lingered
Deep from another breast.
It was not her sorrow
Nor her grief to bear,
But its persistence was still there.
She pulled the hood back up over her head
And turned the fidgety mare away from the sea.
She gave a soft click with her tongue
And the mare moved forward in a smooth gait,
A stride as fluid as the rocking of a chair.
Her rider focused on the stables
And the large modern house several yards away.
She shook away a vision of a thatched cottage,
And a single stall lean-to.
The fine house was now
And now was where she was.
"Leave me be, Jessica!
I may be your kin."
"But..."
"Go away and bother me no more."
"I am me,
Gretchen Newcombe,
I am me
And not you!"

The passage of time makes little difference in love.
Love will endure far beyond the mortality of life.
Whether born of a time of youth or maturity,
Love lives at all costs,
And in all realms and lapses of years.
Magick is a witch's way,
And if all the legacy is magick,
Then nary a thing nor a rite can squelch it.
Such was the love of Jessica Newcombe,
Of Sea Cliff Cottage,
For Isaac Trent, the captain of The Sea-Wind Lady.

"Mists have a way of deluding us
Yet in the mist we see
The clearness of our purpose
Our love and destiny.
Perhaps its just the softness
the mist themselves provide
the close and comforting surealness
a comfort it provides
There is a world out there
I belong to.
That others hold and provide
but deep within my being
the mist is really me"

As a child, Gretchen seemed odd,
Quite odd to the Newcombe clan.
Spoiled by decades of money,
From the wise ways of Jessica,
The spinster who never married,
But her second cousin became heir
To the fortune Jessica had made
From her shipping company,
Incorporated by the people of Whale's Mouth.
Darcy Newcombe, just a young man,
Learned the ways with his "aunt",
As her "adopted" son continued on
When the Witch of Sea Cliff Cottage was no more.
Gretchen, Darcy's great granddaughter,
The youngest child of five,
Seemed odd to the wealthy Newcombes indeed.
Instead of fancy dolls and pretty toys,
She wanted an old Cob pinto mare,
Who became her best friend,
And danced with her in the lacy waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
The years sped on and the old Cob died,
And Gretchen married but love evaded her,
In her husband's early death
And left her childless.
She retook her maiden name
And the reins of the Newcombe family,
From the tankers, freighters,
To the manor house that stood where the humble cottage once had.

It was then her childhood love of horses returned
And she bought a bloodied Standardbred,
But a paint as the old Cob had been.
They rode in the places where
Jessica and her beloved stallion, Epona,
Had tred.
She felt the gentle, sighing whisper
Of the wind in the trees,
The softly fallen leaves like eternal tears
And in the mists that hung in ghostly drapes
On the rocks and the sea.
Was it then that Gretchen
Learned the soul of her ancestoral "aunt"
And felt the Witch of Sea Cliff Cottage's
Loss of love with a man
She could never have?


Into the wild of the storm,
They rode, hidden in the driving rain.
The watch must be kept,
It kept her heart alive.
The very Devil filled the stallion's pace,
Across the sparse grass.
They rode from the cave,
Left its warmth and safety.
The watch must be kept!
The Lady Moon had been kidnapped,
By the ominous storm clouds.
The wind howled in a banshee shriek,
Pushing against them to keep them away.
The watch must be kept!
They rode past the ruins of the cottage,
Her heart twisting in pain.
She feared no heretic this night,
As three days hence,
They had to seal her plight.
The watch must be kept!
At last, to the cliff,
They found their way.
The chestnut tree was trembling
In the storm's wrath.
The ancient one's roots were shorn
And cracked from a heretic's axe.
The guarantee that no notes for aid,
Would be delivered to the tree.
The watch must be kept!
The witch cried out her rage,
Burn the cottage, destroy the garden,
But why the chestnut tree?
It had stood in singular strength
Against the fury of the wind,
The cold of winter,
And the restless sea,
The ancient one had kept its watch faithfully.
The watch must be kept!
Epona and the witch came to a halt,
Facing eastward to the sea.
Out there a ship sailed bearing her love,
Did he too fight fury this howling night?
As a immense jagged flash of lighting,
Split the whirling, wailing night,
The stallion reared against the sky,
And the witch issued her cry.
"My love...my the words
And hurled thlife"
The wind gathered em into the hellish night.
The watch had been kept.
(from the original Sea-Wind)

As Gretchen rode the snowy path
Back to the manor house,
The vivid scene from the past
Flashed across her mind.
She pulled sharply upon the reins,
And in an urging voice,
"Faster, Seadance, before
My mind is totally lost into HER world."
Seadance, the paint mare, quickened her pace,
Responding to the chill in the day
And the desperation of her mistress' voice.

The wind began to howl in a frightening screech
As the mare and the rider began to hurry along.
The gray, still air suddenly turned white
As the gently falling snow of before began
To whip and swirl in the freezing gusts.
A blizzard, white stormy demon, of the Maine coast.
Roared and seethed in the flash of an eye.
Seadance reared as she felt her hooves slide
In the sleet and muck,
Despite the rubber and weighted shoes on her hooves.
The manor house had disappeared
In the blur of blinding white,
And Gretchen fought the frightened mare down.
As the horse finally came under control,
Gretchen felt an ice cold feeling grip her.
Glancing to her right, trying to see,
Blinded by the obscuring sheets of whipped ice.
She saw another figure on horse back moving
Along the edge of the wood
But the shadowy form was difficult to make out.

In Gretchen's heart, she knew who the rider was.
It was Jessica going to keep her watch!


***
The Serene Lady
A waning moon rode in low quarter,
Hidden by a scuttling cloud.
The Winter Wind blew cold and harsh,
Playing tag upon the sheer rock face.
The barren cliff, with no chestnut tree,
Faced out over a smooth sea.
Against a backdrop of blackest night
And pale watery moonlight,
Came the figure of a horse,
Bearing a rider.
The woman, draped in voluminous cloak,
Rode easily upon the bay stallion.
His shod hooves ringing on lifeless stone
And rivaling the mourning wind.
They rode to the edge of the jutting cliff
And stared out into the cove below.
A ship was on the horizon
But she was leaving instead of going home.
So much time had passed,
So much grief seen,
From Maine to Louisiana,
The witch and Epona had been.
Tucked in her shanty in the hushed swamp
She had heard a cry of pain.
Her captain had returned
And found his home empty again.
Without thought or ability to know why,
She took her meager things
And left headed for Maine.
A long, arduous trek,
Fraught with fear and pain,
The witch went home again to Maine.
When she arrived, she found
The Serene Lady gone from her cradle
And it filled her with fear.
Had the heretics burned this ship so dear?
Then through the barkeep,
She was to learn,
The captain had lost the Sea-Wind Lady
And here he had returned.
He finished his ship,
And to water she went.
He set his course to sea,
But leaving word he would back in any event.
The witch waited in the cave,
Praying to see her love.
Then on a bright summer's day,
He sailed into the cove.
They talked and loved
But both knew things had changed.
He had to deal with his life
And the home and wife he had in Spain.
There was no question to which must come first,
The witch or the captain's family,
There could never be any choice.
When this sad, chilled night came,
And he left to do what he must do.
The witch knew she might not see him again
But she had learned that his love would never end.
She would build the cottage back
And there she would stay.
Maybe he would be able to come home some day.
This was where her heart lay,
And the home of her dream,
She would always be there for him,
Because like he, she knew her love would never end.
So, as the Serene Lady sailed out to the world,
From the place of her birth.
She carried the witch's captain
And the witch's heart that went with him.
Sails In The Wind
A summer evening, warm and soft,
Wrapped the scene in delicate shadow,
The newly re-built cottage with flagstone walk,
A truck garden yielding food with a stalk.
The setting sun lingered beyond the house,
Blazing its last glowing rays in silent defiance.
Within the thatched cottage's walls,
The humble abode was less grand than before.
No, multiple gifts from foreign shore.
No handmade table or chairs of finest wood,
The carver had not in this house stood.
A few chickens pecked listlessly at the stoop,
Soon to flock in a sleeping group.
The witch had finished her last meal of the day
And put her earthen ware of one quietly away.
The bay stallion, Epona, grazed upon the sweet grass,
Relishing a bounty he hoped would last.
Gathering a watering pitcher in her hand,
The witch stepped out into the evening-kissed land.
She walked the path so long worn now
And wondered of what and how
She would be able to continue to believe
That someday he would come and never leave.
She knew this would not happen
As his blood was free and always to the sea.
But deep within her she knew he would come
When or what day was a riddle undone.
She carried the little pitcher
To the flat part of the barren cliff.
Growing in a space of dirt, not encroached by rock,
Was a tiny sapling of a chestnut tree.
Little as it was, it had sunk its roots deep,
And its place it intended to keep.
She raised and stared at an empty horizon,
Knowing that was what she would see
But with eternal hope, she knew her vigil would end,
That someday she would see sails once again in the wind.
(From the original Sea-Wind)
***
Gretchen turned Seadance to follow
The ghostly horse and rider
As they seemed unaffected by the blizzard
And its blinding snow.
As the eerie foursome made their way to the cliff,
Two dead and two alive,
Gretchen thought on Jessica
And what had gone on
After the wreck of the Sea-Wind Lady.
Jessica, with the help of villagers of Whale's Mouth,
Had salvaged the damaged clipper
And sent her back to sea.
From their diligence, the shipping company had been born,
And Whale's Mouth became a thriving seaport town.
But what of Isaac and the Serene Lady?
No one ever knew except he never returned.
Jessica lived on until both she and Epona were gone.
Jessica, the Witch of Sea Cliff Cottage,
Had been a gracious lady to all,
But her broken heart never mended completely.
She set her protection penacle
As the company's symbol.


Gretchen began to notice the snow and wind were fleeting
And a sweeter, warmer day enveloped them.
She also saw Jessica with a glowing smile
Upon her gentle face
And her descendant wondered
As she followed the appirations of witch and horse.
At last they came to the cliff
Where a full grown chestnut tree stood
In the twisted derelict's place.
Time had changed once again
As Gretchen watched in stunned awe.
A soft blue cove lay below,
Calm and gentle waves,
As a beautiful clipper rode at anchor,
Her sails furled.
Gretchen could not read the name
But she soon forgot to search
As Jessica and Epona rode straight off the cliff,
Not falling but disappearing,
As did the lovely ship and the mild Spring day.
Suddenly, Gretchen found herself alone,
In a frozen land
But the blizzard had ceased.
She and the paint mare were once again alone
On Sea Cliff,
But far below, a mist floated briefly
And then was gone.
The Sea Mist had taken the witch and her captain forever.

As for Gretchen, the wrenching pain was gone
And as she and Seadance turned once again for home,
She believed in her heart with peace
That she, too, would know her love again one day.


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