by Kate Poulton
She was always there, every morning without fail, whether in sun, rain or hail. She would dive right in. Wearing nothing but her birthday suit she appeared an old sea creature leaping from the pages of battered myths, a wrinkled nymph with sea weed wiggling about in her tresses.
Into the water she would plunge day after day, for her only remaining joy was that morning swim. For as long as her tired body could take it, the deep unfathomable ocean made her whole. Waves churned and slid sand against her skin, whilst the salty water cleansed her hide. Without the tides encasing her, without the fizzling words of the waves, without the rhythm of the ebb and flow, she was senseless.
Because no one else spoke to her the way the ocean did; through the rumblings of the deep, the murmurs of the smash and swish and the groans of the currents. They gave her the rhythm of every day, every month and every long year after year.
And no one listened as she did; to the bashing of the breakers, the scraping of the shingles and the breath of relief as the current’s pull… let… go.
With tears dripping from wave after wave, and skin stinging from each surge, she would paddle back home, full of life once more.
Others knew her as the old lady that swam starkers in the sea. The locals snickered, tutted and sighed. But no one ever tried to stop her. For no one dared deprive Falmouth’s own Queen from Avalon, the ocean’s very bride.