Maiden of the Tides
Day after day, the same scene plays itself out. She appears on the shore at the edge of the marsh, always with flowers in her hair and as pretty as any spring day, in spite of her forlorn nature. Those flowers, and the birds always flying about her, give her an air of spring, or, more appropriately, of rejuvenation.
Before long, and before she is gone, her face takes on a look of wistfulness, and then joy. Yes, gone, but while every soul in the village has seen her there, none have ever seen here arrive or depart.
There is a stark contrast between her beauty and the scene before her at the start of her vigil, yet her forlorn gaze is an apt reflection of that scene. Fishing boats lie scattered, their hulls canted on the mudflats that comprise the small bay, slack lines leading to anchors that lie exposed. Rowboats sit in the mud just before her, firmly tied to stakes driven into the bank.
Within moments of her appearance, the tide slowly makes its way into the bay, raising the fishing boats from their resting place and raising her spirits visibly. Just as the village fishermen arrive to row out to their crafts’ anchorage, her face lights up with joy.
Eternally grateful for her gift to their livelihood, they turn in unison on the decks of their crafts to wave and send her a salute of thanks for bringing the tide to them, yet she is gone every time.
This is my response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction challenge #14: Spring, with Spring, a painting by Harald Slott-Møller. At 252, this is above the requested word count of 200. As always, Jane’s critique is welcome.
Image source: Wikimedia