Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The tidewalker

She used to tell him that the moon brought lovers together. She’d say that its great actions in the heavens would draw souls together, magnetised by lunar cycles and destined to cling forever to the other.
He’d laugh, of course, and kiss her forehead and they’d both sigh and wish it were true. When he lost her – lost her to doubt, fear and perennial lust – he had an epiphany soon after.
He began to believe her idea, about the moon and the souls of young lovers. He began to imagine this intangible thread running always from him to her. It was now tightly drawn, and straining across a great distance of space and mind, but it existed all the same.
So he came to thinking that the flow of the tides could help him to find her; that the gravitational pull of the satellite moon would be the strongest at high tide. That if he were to stand on a beach, when the yearly tide was at its highest, there was a good chance she’d be there, on that same stretch of beach, searching for him too.
So there he was, on December 14th, 2008, his shoes filling with salt-water, his trousers sopping and him flinching in the chill. He was there, on a desolate winter’s beach, strolling through the surf, walking the tide.
Nobody else was on the beach that bitter day but, in the icy sting of the salt spray, a song came to him, shuffling forth from his memories.
It was a song she sometimes sang and it always made him smile. Somehow, he had lost this memory to time, and now the clawing December tide had returned it to him along with a clear visual memory of her face, fair and glowing, at Christmastime.
He stood there, tidewalking, for as long as his shivering body could stand the winter sea. And, all the while, he smiled.

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