Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cape Cornwall

Thursday October 18, 2007:

The crane and the mermaid

We climbed carefully across the rocks at the side of the slipway. The tide was out and the beach was littered with pale round egg boulders. Larger flat dark ones bounded the seaweed smeared rock pools, skirted with shingle. It was hot and, as I tottered and sank down to rest on a round rock, I wiped perspiration from my face and began to struggle out of my jacket and jumper.

The wind had dropped. The sea was still; only where it met the harp rocks did it crash noisily. My hands reached out to the rocks and I stroked them, picking up a rugby ball shaped one and cradling it in my arms like a baby.

I was balanced upon the round boulders. They tumbled and shifted beneath my claws. Longleggedly, I stalked towards the sea. In the deep pool, my reflection shimmered, grey, austere and long beaked. I arched my neck and dove in.

Smoothly I moved, my fish tail flicking, my arms cleaving the water. I swam out between the jagged rocks, was pushed about in the strong cape currents, out to the big round rock that looked like a fat belly sticking up out of the water.

I swung myself onto its rounded top and sat, tail curled around me watching the sea. At first I only saw his nose for he was bottling just a few feet away from me. Then he began to circle the rock protectively as I gazed back to land.

On the beach the woman was sitting, face quieter, eyes closed, still as though in prayer. Around her, the rocks sat, round like eggs, the bounty of the beach. The woman stirred, shifted and reached out to stroke a nearby boulder.

I slid off the rock, swimming fast, looping round past the seal still patrolling the rock. I darted through the currents, between the jagged rocks, back to the deep pool where I gazed up at myself as the crane staring at my reflection in the water. Carefully, so as not to slip, I turned away from the sea and Stepped from round rock to round rock, moving back to the woman still absorbedly stroking the large egg-shaped rock.

As I told my dream to my companion, she recalled a stone with a crane pattern on one side that she had seen earlier. She got up in search of it. My fingers reached out and enclosed a smaller palm-sized egg shaped stone, warmed with the sun. I held it and remembered the other crane dreams where the strange bird protected a large egg. On this beach filled with stone eggs, many dreams could and would hatch for all who searched for them.

But right now I was hungry. It was time to eat.


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