The breath

The sea was green that day with flecks of foam upon its breath. Inhaling, peaks of translucent aqua formed, as if invisible lungs had filled beneath the waves. On the exhale the glassy waters flattened, spreading the white flecks so thinly small voids formed in the membranes and stretched outwards, covered the shifting sea in a shroud of lace.

Rue loved this type of sea, this season, this weather. Not for her the stagnant, apathetic, turquoise waters of summer. Not for her the searing heat and blinding sun so loved by many. She found nothing to enjoy in the sweat that clung to her bloated form, nor the embers of the sands that branded her feet.

But when the weather cooled, when the sea breathed once more, when the winds drew energy from the clouds and blew it upon invisible strands of purest oxygen, then, like the sea, she knew life again.

It was late autumn now and this was her favorite place. She had walked, as always, along the grassy outcrop to the cliffs edge, yet did not look down to the wet, sandy beach beneath it, despite its beauty and safe haven from the strong winds. She did not want sanctuary. She would have that soon enough. Instead, she stared out to that blessed burgeoning of life, that watery womb, and breathed in all the life she could hold.

Still, this was not the furthest point. This was not the final place. She focused on the small, rocky, promontory a little to her right. Red rocks wrapped snuggly in quilts of yellow daisies. Their autumn blossoming had been a long one this year, as if waiting each day for Rue to come to them. She smiled in thanks, walking down the stony path and through the golden drifts.

Her steps did not falter over the craggy way, no matter how uneven or treacherous the sharp rocks were, till she stood upon the last stone. The gusts of wind were stronger here, playfully pushing her in their excitement, eager to embrace her. Taking off her sturdy walking shoes and thick socks, she positioned her feet carefully to avoid the worst of the jagged points, curling her toes to cling like limpets. The shoes she placed neatly by her side.

Then, lifting her arms to the waiting wind she reached out as far as she could on either side: a crucifix upon the horizon. The wind rose, buffeting her body, testing her resilience, yet she did not falter. The wind, the sea, the rocks and Rue were one. This was how she wanted it to end. Her hand reached for the woolen cap clinging to her head and with one glorious huzzah, flung it upward for the sky to catch. The beautiful bald skull felt nature’s caress once more.

Rue stayed transfixed until the wind and sea had given all they could, then, replacing her shoes and socks once more, she made her way slowly back over the rocks and the grassy knoll, to trace her way back home. Never once did she turn to look back. She had no need to. It would not be long before her return. That would be when they scattered her ashes out over those beloved waters and she could thankfully rest on that soft, white, lace blanket, caught twixt heaven and sea. She smiled softly, sated and serene. She was ready.

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Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

A road of many paths! Let’s see. I have always written. Short stories, novellas, a travel blog (when I decided to free camp around Australia for two years). But mainly a career in social and health care, (I am an ardent supporter and fighter for the vulnerable where a lot of my writing stems from) with the odd foray into teaching in the community. I currently teach Drama in the community and write (of course).

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