A fisherman who lived on an island married a woman from the continent who had never seen the sea. It was winter when he brought her to his cottage on the beach and the wind was howling. From there she saw the sea for the first time and was mesmerised by the wide horizon, the rhythm of the waves and the smell.
When she woke up the next day the fisherman was already gone. The house felt strange and cold. She put on her coat and boots and went outside to see the soothing waves again. The wind was still howling but…there was no sea? All she could see was an endless plain of sand.
She thought it was a nightmare or a curse. She walked towards where the sea should have been but the wind pushed her back and she returned to the house.
Until noon she couldn’t relax. How could the landscape be so different in such a short time? Where was the sea? She cooked and sewed, crocheted and read but she couldn’t take her mind of the sea.
When her husband came back she told him what happened:
“This morning I went outside and the sea was gone!”
The fisherman laughed kindly:
“It happens every day. The sea comes rushing in and almost touches our door and then it gets bored and goes miles out there again. During the day it’s not here. But now it is.”
The man took her by the hand and led her outside. They stood without speaking and listened to the waves crashing gently on the beach.
Inspired by a comment I heard yesterday from a Scottish guest. Photo from Hoylake beach near Liverpool.