A SEA TALE (part 4)

Asturias Travel Blog

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Time passes and wounds close although they may not fully heal. Caitlin survived and she started to carry out her daily tasks again, spinning, tending the little plot beside the cottage, looking after the animals. Moira had come to live with her and the presence of the old woman was a great comfort to her. She still felt empty and her life was a vast deserted place, but somehow the daily routine blunted the edge of her pain. The village women came to visit but they always stayed for a short time and they were prompted to leave by long embarrassed silences in the cottage after they had drunk the tea that was offered them. They hurried away to their houses, to husbands and sons who awaited them, to laughter and warm, cosy rooms where songs were sung and music was made. Caitlin watched them through the small cottage window as they left and her heart tightened in her breast, her eyes watered. Moira always came bustling around her at those times, giving her some chore to keep her occupied, some task that ensured her mind was kept busy.

The months succeeded one another and Winter ceded its place to a thin, weak, sickly Spring. The sun was cool and often covered by rain-laden clouds, the long twilight hours were a moist grey colour instead of the usual clear violet. Summer followed on and as if to compensate for the ill Spring that year, it was a bright, crystal gem of a Summer, the long days warm and bursting with life, the vegetation emerald green, the young green shoots turgid with juices, the flowers brighter, more colourful and plentiful than they had been for years. The village was feverishly preparing for the fair at the end of the Summer and produce was being readied, the musicians were practising their dance music, the women were sewing and ironing the new clothes. Caitlin languished under the watchful eye of Moira, her life being reduced to a monotonous routine, the summer heat needling her to a state of unease and disquietude. Her voice, which no longer rang out in song, her laughter, which had not resounded around the small rooms of their cottage, her soul fatally wounded, were rebelling under the heavy gravestone of her grief and loss. Her heart was now beating furiously, awakened by the late Summer heat, her tears flowing often in frustration and remembrances of past love. Moira watched and schemed.

The young woman often sat beside the small window, spinning, watching the sunlight illuminate the bright green garden. The tall hollyhocks bent with the sea breeze, their large showy red and pink flowers open invitations to the swarming bees; the larkspurs, daisies, poppies and cornflowers all abloom. She stopped her spinning one of those mornings and looked at the flowers. She then felt an urge to go and gather armfuls of them to fill the dark house. She was becoming tired of the gloomy shadows that filled the small rooms. She wanted to destroy the hold that memories had on her heart. She wanted to chase away the ghosts that haunted the cottage ever since that day two years ago when Alan had left her. She thought of him and her eyes brimmed full of tears, but resolved, she hastily got up, pushing the spindle to one side, wiping the tears away. She almost ran out to the garden, rushing past Moira in the small kitchen. The old woman looked out in the garden watched the girl picking the flowers and smiled, knowing that her time had come to act. She pulled her shawl around her shoulders and quietly slipped out of the cottage making her way to Patrick’s farmhouse, following the winding pathway that led inland, far from the angry, crashing sounds of the breaking waves against the rocky shore.
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photo by: spanishrosie