He was brought up to believe they were myths. Subjects of tales that sailors would tell, but were brushed off… the result of sea stroke or drink. The land lovers, they could never believe in anything they couldn’t see with their own two eyes. They never understood the word faith. But there was one, a gaucho. Not yet a man, but no longer a boy, at an early age he toyed with ideas of places and things that the river and springs in this small valley could never bring him.
He spent his time on the peak. From his perch, he could peer out into the vast, endless layers of rolling waves peeling off the sea. When he felt inspired, he would scale the loose rock and debris, so his feet could kiss the moist sand. While he feared the rough waters, it was here he did witness the burning sun’s embers fall so gracefully on her shimmering, slender torso. Though just a spark, it was enough to set his arid, prairie heart ablaze. When they caught eyes, the gaze; it could have been days that passed before her lips let out the sweetest hint of laughter, as she slipped back into the blue abyss. This moment would forever alter the gaucho’s landscape.
As with the sailors, his community could never believe the tales his eyes recanted. They told him the sea was dangerous, and only foolish men would venture into such treacherous depths. The valley offered all the water one could ever desire. Their words, though, might as well have been of another tongue. He preceded to frequent the peak and sand. Holsters empty, love drawn and at the ready, the steady flow with which the waves rolled in became his closest friend. Days would come and end, and with her sails drawn, she would ride in on the wind past the break and lay on the same rock that shot the fateful arrow; the arson in his chest still roaring. Some nights, he laid his head to rest on the battered shores, waking to find his rock invariably draped in her presence. Her bird song laugher his chariot to back from slumber. Their infatuation was drawn out until the season’s change. Days drew nearer where peaks wore cloaks of snow and ice.
He never spoke of where he would go, yet land lovers could only hope he hadn’t fallen victim to the intoxicating tales the sailors would tell. They feared he would lose his life the same as the deviant seaman. You see, fear is a funny thing. With it brings intent or paralysis, will these feeling pass over, or push to the brink of fruition? Those frozen days, robbing him of the sea’s breeze and sand pillow, where sleep had never felt so resonate, had him feeling some way. He would wait on the cliff’s peaks until his cheeks turned pink with the winter’s forsaken embrace, thinking and seeking out her fueling gaze to fan its kin flame now waining. Paining and pining for the shinning and shimmering sight that forever changed how he viewed this dwindling life. It seemed she had been absent for an eternity.
Fate’s soft strings rang on a day where the outcry and disdain from the land lover’s begin to seep into his lovelorn brain. He wondered if maybe his imagination had run astray…But from his perch he swore he saw the waves part; the sun tore through sheets of gray, illuminating the same spot he so adored, only to see her silky-linen frame lain. The amalgamate of fate and fear oozed from fluctuating limbs. Her finger beckoned, the peak and weary knees acquiesced, he floated past ice and snow. The sands welcomed him as if he was Odysseus returning to native soil.
Her gaze extended an invitation that his head accepted with no hint of hesitation. The water was past his knees before his fluttering feet had cognizance of their motion. The Gaucho, he had never learned to swim, but that could never stop him from diving into the ocean blue for a love he knew, more than anything he ever knew, was true. The aqueous transition felt nearly as warm as her coveted embrace, as they absconded into the uncharted bliss…
Photos courtesy of Walmiru and Painted Mermaid