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A Love Letter to the Tide for when we’ve Lost our Siren Song.

 

I can’t fathom a life apart from the ocean.

My whole life, I’ve lived in a small, peninsular community—a thriving locus of beachgoers during the summer months, a bleak ghost town the remaining three quarters of the year.

This town is home to musicians, artists, and other seafaring spirits who look to the water for inspiration. I feel a kinship with these eccentric souls, for we share the same source of madness and clarity.

They, like I, seldom stray from the sea.

By now I feel as if the bay’s soft lull has injected itself into my bloodstream and ensconced itself firmly inside my bones. The ever-present murmur of the briny water lulls me to sleep at night and wakes me gently, hours later, as dappled light filters in through the shades.

The bay’s soft music resembles the promises of a loyal lover. At night, I lie secured in its gentle embrace. A steady drum, each mellifluous whisper echoes through the early hours of the morning, reverberating even when the world wakes. Never faltering, the tide’s eternal rhythm teaches me tenderness.

I marvel at the delicate manner with which the water extends to the horizon. The waves float gracefully, curiously. They seem to traverse the sea in unison—a troupe of ballerinas, a phalanx of hummingbirds—swiftly or slowly, absent of any interjection within their fluent cohesion.

The mystery of the sea is otherworldly. I remain enchanted by the water’s magical sinews, the delicacy with which they outline each jutting strip of land. The tide kisses the earth at every sandy juncture.

At every hour, the sea is painted a new color. Its countenance at twilight vastly differs from its mask at gloam. Both faces contrast starkly with the water’s visage at approximately 8:24 p.m. when it reflects the glare of a vermillion setting sun. Under open skies, in the ocean’s kaleidoscopic complexion, I see infinity.

Perhaps the reason why I’m drawn so magnetically to the music of the Romantics is this: the texture and tonalities of these works are ever so redolent of the only other body I’ve known my whole life—that of water. The sweeping suffusions of color brought to life by chromatic harmonies resemble the rippled bodice of the bay outside my window. Each curious cadence evokes images of the tumbling mist that shrouds the bay in early morning anonymity. The music’s billowing shape echoes of the arresting undertow that waits to whisk me, shoulders-deep, away indefinitely.

Mountains of passion rise and recede within me as I observe waves, violent and vehement, crashing on the shore. Despite its dearth of sentience, the ocean seems to share the psychological drives of us illogical beings. Roaring anger, jealousy, and yearning appear familiar to the thrashing waters during a tempest.

In my solitude, I look to the sea for intimacy. I share my secrets with the forthcoming tide, a companion who speaks the same language as I. The ocean seems to cry out, “me, too.”

The water was my first lover, confidante, and friend. I carry its familiar presence in the fabric of my being. It’s stitched permanently into the lining of my heart. The tide lies in the interstellar space between my heart and rib cage. It’s a fracture of my soul, inextricable from the essence of my spirit.

For the days when it gets harder to hear your siren song, please listen. I’ll always hear you, the tide, calling my name, and I’ll again be enveloped in your cobalt rapture. We’ll reunite as lovers and friends. Call out limpidly into the night, and I’ll come home before morning.

If I wander, I’ll return.

~

author: Jennifer Boyd

Image: Author's own

Image: Li Yang/Unsplash

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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Jennifer Evangelista Aug 16, 2018 2:57pm

You write beautifully. Thank you

Anthony Shreve Aug 16, 2018 2:53pm

Beautifully written.

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Jennifer Boyd

Jennifer Boyd studies at Wellesley College. Her writing appears in Occulum Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Verdancies Journal, among others. She is both madly and peacefully in love with the universe. You can follow her on Instagram.