The Ocean in Winter ... A Short Story Poem
The cold was relentless, as was I in
my battle of wills with mother winter
and her volatile moods.
She had been here many times
before, and I was new and brief
by all accounts of those who
had left. One by one, we would
slip away as her wind hurled its
bitter stings and the sun hid behind
the granite sky. But not today.
Pulling my parka closer, I sat down
on the smooth rocks of the seawall
that overlooked the ocean cove.
Wonderful, pungent scents of salt
and seaweed permeated the air.
The constant wind pushed
the waves forward with the incoming
tide…its rhythmic flow softly lulling,
drawing me inward.
For a moment I wondered why the wind and the waves could not speak
in this world. Is only our voice so meaningful in the measure of time?
They will be here long after we are gone, and have witnessed that which
we will never know or understand. Perhaps their solitude is our penance.
Are we mortal humans the ones that have been left behind?
Closing my eyes, I imagined I could hear the whales as they sighed, purred
and murmured their cries in an endless glide through the ocean depths.
Such sounds are filled with secrets. These songs are beautifully told
and oddly comforting. Yet at times they left me with the longing feeling
of an orphaned child.
A lone seagull shrieked overhead; I looked up to see him watching me
as he bobbed about in the wind like a drunken kite. “I have no food,” I whispered,
hearing the regret in my voice. Suddenly, the gull descended with a glider’s
quiet care and landed on the stone barrier. Ambling slightly from
side to side, he walked toward me before coming to rest not far
from my solitary perch.
The gull and I watched the ocean with concern for her resilience...
each in our own way. In these waters, both shallow and deep,
dwelled a myriad of companions, vagabonds and travelers that
had dwindled in recent winters. Such beings lived their lives,
tender and fierce, amidst a vast beauty imperiled by man's indifference.
I glanced over at my feathered friend and smiled. I was filled with quiet
admiration for all of life that surrounds and abounds, flowing within
and shared with an irresistible clarity. And I realized that this was not merely
a collection of beloved moments in an afternoon with the ocean in winter.
Copyright 2012 by Genna East. All rights reserved. Said copyrights do include the above video; the music, "Time" was composed by Hans Zimmer; the video was created by arianaconda of YouTube.