I wait each day, down by the ocean, sitting on our bench, looking out to sea. The relentless sun pierces through my linen shroud, like an x-ray picking clean my bones. I turn my face to it in supplication. Still, it beats down on me whilst gentle waves of sea roll in, slide up the beach, and trickle through millions of grains of sand, each of little consequence.
A sand crab hurries away. I know not where. I do not wonder. I think only of you and the last time we met. You were dark that day, your passion spent. You could not love. You could not feel. You stood a distance away, dressed in a long grey coat. The heat never touched you. It did not x-ray your bones, nor expose the wild, stunted heart that lay beneath that full, bleak envelope. A quiet breeze lifted your hair in billowing wisps, playing with it, tempting you to participate in the beauty of the day. You saw no-thing. Your eyes were black, shriveled into thin points staring out to sea.
You should not have been there. You looked so out of place. The incongruity of the moment stabbed me like a shard of yellow sunlight bursting through the walls of my heart.
I remember now. A tear rolls down my cheek, splashes into the sand, and disappears inconsequentially, as a droplet carried in an ocean of tears.
You will never come again.
That time, you came to mourn me. You saw only an empty bench, a cruel, not gentle sea, and a crab that fed off my bones.
I am here my love, waiting still, in the moments when the wind rustles through your hair to tempt you into seeing the beauty of the day.
Niamh Clune is the founder of The Orangeberry Group. During her lifetime, she has been a spiritual psychologist, award-winning social entrepreneur, environmental campaigner, and award-winning writer of songs. Her song, “We Are the Voice,” was chosen to promote the 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg (she performed it with her daughter, Aleisha, at the opening concert). She has lived and worked in Africa for Oxfam, UNICEF, and World Food Program. Niamh has been a prolific writer about environmental issues for international magazines and newspapers. Orange Petals in a Storm is the first in the Skyla McFee Series. The second in the series, Exaltation of a Rose, will be released soon.
You can also find the anthology Every Child is Entitled to Innocence at Orangeberry Books.