...The Souls of the Seagulls...
My Seagull Photography by St. Mary's Seawall - Black Rock, CT
The seagulls remember those who come to the shore. They wait for the old woman who brings just a couple heels of hard bread and the man who works at the bakery to do a drive by of crumbs. They hover on benches and streetlights and shorelines waiting for something edible that is easily accessible. They have been diving in the icy sea all morning.
They sit on separate stations and when one approaches the other moves out of the way allowing a turn to be taken. They cry out to each other raucously and flap wings voraciously when the humans come with their stale carbohydrates. They hover just above the heads of those who care to share their offerings. They don't forget you.
There is a sense of respect and fairness between them. They are creatures of both sea and sky and land. They drop feathers along the seashore that lay in the folds of sand and rest in the winds from the surf. Tiny white fluffs of filaments dance and wish to fly once more.
The seagulls rise and fall along the ocean, diving for fish and dropping clams and mussels on the rocky jetty. They are fearless together as a loosely kindred group. They watch distant humans with interest and curiosity. Some of them are as big as cats, perhaps even some dogs. They tear apart garbage bags with great intensity and for this they are seen as disgusting and vile yet they have no idea.
The seagulls watch with their golden eyes so wary of our presence. They have seen that which we disregard. They have wandered over oceans and witness the dismantling of the environment dwindling down before their eyes. They have been covered in oil and plastic ties wrapped around their feet, bodies and beaks and have never deserved any of it. They survive in a place devoid of compassion for them and they cherish the old woman, waiting for her return. And she loves them.
The old lady thinks about them quite often. When her daughter takes her out to lunch she wraps up anything she thinks they may like. She watches out for them when she is far, far away in her own life in her human world. She sometimes thinks that one particular seagull has the spirit of her father, just by the way he looks at her.
He is always there hoping for her return. He is large and brown and white. He stands out from the flock of white and gray gulls and spends much of his life by the pier. He watches the rats scurry in and out of the rocks and spots the dead fish between them. He has been caught on fishing lines and hooks and loathes the fishermen who carelessly toss their garbage and debris around his home. He gets out of their way and calls to his group when he has seen something that could render them pain.
He waits for her and knows she thinks of him. She gets back to the pier every chance she gets, sometimes five times a week but no less than three. She no longer drives so when the weather is just fair enough, she makes it a point to get to them with anything and everything she has put aside. The look of the father gull always stays with her long after her visits.
The cold and sunny brings her out and he sees her coming from far away. His community of brother and sister gulls are noisey and battling with three crows for a batch of popcorn spilled by a toddler before the midday sun reached its peak. She has a purple scarf and matching hat and gloves. Her tan coat blends in with the sand leaving only her violet strips of accessories standing out. She happily notices he is waiting for her as she sprinkles her offerings on the sidewalk below the sign at the foot of the pier.
Till Death Do Us Part
That was the last time she would share her time and breadcrumbs with the seagull. She was walking too slowly across a sidestreet when a car hit her. The woman driving the oversized sports utlity vehicle had been texting her selfish heart out and didn't even know she had hit a person. The old lady died in the street and the woman blamed her for being in it. A seagull screamed sharply in the distance as the police questioned her.
The sun went down and the spirit of the old lady wandered under streetlight after streetlight. The night was eternal here as she understood two things. She could rise up and above the trees like a bird all the way into the place where she could rest in peace. She could rise up into the sky above the trees and finally meet the spirit of her ancestors and be free. She swirled up and around until she met with the gatekeeper at the edge of the stars. The keeper stopped her and scanned her until her whole life lead up to the road where she died. The keeper saw her thoughts and her trips to the seaside and asked her a question that could only be answered once.
She agreed to keep her promise, the same promise her father had made long ago. She chose to become a symbol of compassion and generosity meant to help change the course of just one single persons life.
Her daughter would never forgive herself for letting her mother refuse the ride to the beach the day she died. She drove to the marina where she saw the familiar flock. She watched as seagulls went about their daily scavenging together and noticed that her mothers favorite, the large brown and white one, sitting carefully perched next to another seagull whose violet and tan feathers softly accentuated her mothers memory. She carefully tossed a piece of bread toward them as the sky turned purple on the horizon.
St. Mary's by the Sea
A frequently visited place connected to many poems from "Whispers of the Goddess" and "The Mermaid Chronicles" by Carole Anzolletti
"Whispers of the Goddess"
- Whispers of the Goddess - Carole Anzolletti : AuthorHouse
Whispers of the Goddess