la mer

the birds, she loved the birds and how they soared over the sea. Even the giant pelicans formed smooth lines as they glided above the water, with, what seemed like, no set destination. She would blink as she watched them, their wings blocking the sun’s rays for only seconds as they passed.

And there, the ocean. The ever comforting ocean that rocked like the cradle and soothed like the womb. She would walk slowly in, with her arms out, imagining she was Edna Pontellier. She contemplated the appeal of being drowned by that gentle sea when she had fought so much to live her own life.

And then there was the world, her position in it, where she stood–the water swallowing her body. And where maybe, some men and women in bright robes move through the water on the shores of Cape Verde, collecting salt in woven baskets. Much like an image she saw on the cover of a National Geographic magazine while making a collage when she was twelve. Was the water she swam in less salty for their heavy baskets?

She plunged under, listening to the  bubbles rise up and allowing the undercurrents to run below her feet as she pulled them up. She rolled, holding her legs, with the waves and floated softly up like a balloon let loose by an inattentive child. As she stood again, she took a breath, letting the water drip into her mouth. They hadn’t gathered enough salt at all.

Perhaps if she swam for a few days, she could drag herself, dehydrated, and aching onto the Verde beach. Gasping, she would tell them that there was still too much salt in the water.

She wasn’t a strong swimmer though. If only she could fly.

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This one was originally posted for the StoryaDay.org competition for this month. It is one of my preferred one, but if you would like to read the other ones they are here.

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