Written by Mei Spring – Instagram: @meispringing
The sea is quiet today because she is thinking. I know how it goes—a day of storms and wild tantrums so huge you’d forget the sun even exists—then the next day, nothing. A silence so calm that it fools even the seagulls comfortably perched on the edge of the cliffs.
I know better than to ask her what’s on her mind. The sea’s temper is fickle—even more so than I am—and another roar of fury from her would mean no rest for me. Instead, I just hop over her waves and peer around for myself. I notice her waters are calm and empty today: no men in their boats, and barely a flicker of a fish. I sigh, looking up at the brilliant sun amongst the cloud-dotted sky, wondering how long it’ll last.
“Go away, wind,” the sea grumbles, and I jump back in alarm. I’d barely heard her intake of breath beneath me, and was hardly expecting her to speak.
“Sea!” I say cheerfully, despite my shock. “Isn’t it wonderful out today?”
“No.” The sea churns, like a storm waiting to be unleashed. “My waters are tainted with the blood of men, and their bodies lie cold in my depths. They have the audacity to bring their horrible machines into my realm, and yet—try as I might—I cannot spit them out.”
I blink. So that’s where they went? I suppose I had wondered where the countless men from yesterday had gone, but quite frankly, it had slipped my mind until now.
“Well, that’s not too bad,” I say. “You taught those bastards a lesson! Now they’ll know not to come back, lest they want to face your wrath.”
The sea is quiet before replying, almost like she’s simmering. Her next words are bitter, spat out in disgust. “And I’m sure you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, wind?”
“I—” I think I want to say something, but no words come out. My face takes on a shade of perplexion. “What do you mean?”
The sea scoffs. “You’ve forgotten again, haven’t you?” she says glumly. “Of course you have. You’re too fast. Too light. Things pass through you like they’re nothing. Each breath you take is new.” She pauses.“And me, well … things pass through me like I’m everything.”
I frown. “Well, can’t you just do what I do? Leave all your colors behind! Shed this tattered skin for a better one. Forget it all and start anew.”
“It’s not as easy as that,” the sea grumbles, her waves rising ever so slightly. “Just go. If you cannot turn these men away, if you cannot cleanse me, then I’d rather you not speak to me at all.”
The words hurt me momentarily. But I turn tail and run, as she says. I try to replay in my mind what the sea had said, how sorrowful her words seemed, how everything about her radiated hopelessness. There had to be something I could do. Something I could say. And yet, by the time I join the seagulls on their cliffs, I’ve forgotten all about it.
The men come again the next day, bearing tall, colorful flags and strange wooden structures that glide across the sea’s waters. They fascinate me—and with my mind blank, my body beaming with energy—I join them in their quests to destroy. I fuel their sails with my breaths. I playfully run my fingers through their hair. I find entertainment in this greed, this wreckage. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before.
I don’t even realize when the sea goes silent beneath me.