Woman of the Sea
Early on in his life, Mannanan was kissed on the cheek by death when he almost drowned in the turbulent sea. When he let out his last breath certain he would die in this watery grave, something swam under him and pushed his body to the surface towards the shore. All he recalls is a brilliant flash of a blue and green glowing tail, and then nothing. He woke up face down on the rocky beach, with his naked body covered in seaweed.
Now, he is an old man living alone save for his white Manx cat Finbar. They live in a thatched cottage, the very same one Mannanan was born in, on the northernmost tip of the Isle of Man south of the Point of Ayre. He and Finbar live a simple life but the memory of his brush with death and the magnificent tail haunts him. In sleep he dreams of a blue-eyed woman, red hair flowing all around him in an emerald-green sea. In the fog washed morning haze, he sees the same emerald-green in Finbar’s eyes and thinks of her.
One evening, as he and Finbar are taking their nightly walk along the rocky shore, Mananan is deep in thought. He doesn’t realize Finbar is no longer following him until he hears a deep-throated growl. “What have you found now, old boy?” as he turns around.
Finbar is a few feet behind him, peering into an unnaturally large tide pool, batting at the water with his paw. And then, there is a flash that shakes Mannanan to his core. He runs to the edge of the pool and peers into the crystal clear water, sees the blue-green flash again and drops to his knees.
The woman of his dreams, the blue-eyed red-haired beauty, the one who has haunted his every thought since that day so long ago is looking up at him, beckoning. She is his Woman of the Sea, and she has come back for him.
©2018 Linda Lee Lyberg
Author’s Note: I have always been fascinated and drawn to the Isle of Man. Mannanan is a Celtic name and means The God of the Sea, the traditional first King of Mann, and Finbar means wave crest and was the name of Mannanan’s white steed.
What Do You See? Oct/30/2018 Willow Poetry